Alberto Jose Alburquerque
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 195 lb.
Signed by scout Jose Serra, Alburquerque began his professional career in 2004 with the DSL Cubs then missed 2005 with injury. In 2006, he was with the AZL Cubs, in the Chicago Cubs farm system. He went 0-2 with a 5.98 ERA in eight games (five starts) that season. He also had 15 strikeouts but 10 walks in 12 2/3 innings. In 2007, he played for the Boise Hawks and Peoria Chiefs, going a combined 4-6 with a 5.83 ERA in 21 games (10 starts). In 66 1/3 innings, he struck out 69 batters. He did not play at all in 2008 due to another injury.
Alburquerque began the 2009 season in the Cubs system, pitching for the Daytona Cubs, going 1-0 with two saves and a 2.08 ERA. However, he was traded to the Colorado Rockies partway through the season as a player to be named later in a deal that sent Jeff Baker to the Cubs. He finished the season with the Tulsa Drillers (1-3, 3.76). Overall, he went 2-3 with a 2.80 ERA in 47 relief appearances, striking out 75 batters in 61 innings. He pitched for the Oilers again in 2010, going 2-4 with 3 saves and a 4.98 ERA in 25 relief appearances.
Following the 2010 season, he became a free agent and signed a contract with the Detroit Tigers. He began the year with the Toledo Mud Hens, fanning eight in four shutout innings. He was then called up to the majors to replace Robbie Weinhardt. He made his major league debut on April 15, pitching two scoreless innings in relief against the Oakland Athletics with the Tigers trailing 1-0. Detroit then managed to tie the score in the 9th, and won the game 8-4 after a wild 10th inning, handing manager Jim Leyland his 1500th career win. Overall, he had a very solid rookie year for the Division-winning Tigers, pitching in 41 games with an ERA of 1.87 and a record of 6-1; he struck out 67 in only 43 1/3 innings. He was roughed up by the New York Yankees in two appearances in the ALDS, giving up 3 runs in a third of an inning, but he did better in the ALCS facing the Texas Rangers, when he gave up no hits and struck out two opponents in an inning and two thirds. However, he was bothered by occasional discomfort in his right elbow during the season, spending time on the disabled list with inflammation at one point. The following December, Dr. James Andrews performed surgery for a stress fracture, putting him out of action for the first half of 2012.