Andrew Albers Adds a Novel Element to the Twins - Good Pitching

Rookie Andrew Albers is providing a ray of hope in an otherwise depressing season in Minnesota.

It’s a bird… it’s a plane… actually, in all honesty, I have no idea what it is. I’ve heard rumors swirling on Twitter that it’s called “competent starting pitching,” but, as a person who often finds himself watching the Minnesota Twins, I don’t know what that is. Whatever it is, Andrew Albers has found it.

In his first two Major League starts, Albers has thrown 17 1/3 shutout innings, including a two-hit shutout last night against the Cleveland Indians. Honestly, I don’t know why he’s still on the Twins’ roster. The dude clearly can pitch and just doesn’t fit in.

In his next start, Albers needs to go 2 2/3 innings of shutout baseball to pass Anibal Sanchez for the longest scoreless streak to start a career since 1960. The Twins’ franchise record is 19 1/3 innings by Caleb Thielbar, which just happened earlier this year. TRADE ALBERS, AND TRADE HIM NOW!!!

Albers’ fastball doesn’t go faster than 88 miles per hour. But, he’s Canadian, so 142 kilometers per hour sounds a lot more intimidating.

Albers has allowed a total of six hits and one walk so far. He has allowed one runner to reach scoring position, and it resulted in his being yanked with one out in the ninth of his debut. He didn’t give Ron Gardenhire the same opportunity against Cleveland.

In the encore, Albers had seven 1-2-3 innings and never faced more than four batters in a single frame. He did get some nifty help from his dirty middle infield of Brian Dozier and Pedro Florimon, but this kid was legit.

That said, is Albers a viable fantasy option? Entering Monday, the 27-year-old lefty was owned in 2.2 percent of ESPN and 5.0 percent of Yahoo! fantasy leagues. The answer: maybe?

Albers has never been a high-strikeout guy, although his K/9 was at 7.89 in the minors this year. In his two starts, he has four strikeouts. If your league’s scoring is heavily dependent on strikeouts, Albers might not be your guy.

Another reason that Albers might not be the best fit is… well… he plays for the Twins. The team is 10 games below .500, meaning wins may be tough to come by moving forward. The positive here is that the bullpen behind Albers is stellar which should reduce the number of DOH! no-decisions.

Full disclosure: I did add Albers in three of my leagues after last night’s performance. Mostly, I’m a sucker for Canadians that play for the Twins (yes, I still own post-concussion Justin Morneau and Scott Diamond who is at AAA Rochester, so just don’t listen to me). However, Albers has brought some energy and positive vibes to this Twins club that they surely haven’t seen since they jettisoned little Nicky Punto out of town.