Al Alburquerque has arguably been Detroit's best relief pitcher this year. He seemingly came out of nowhere, as most people hadn't even heard of him before the season started. In fact, he wasn't even on the Tigers' opening day roster.
However, he was eventually called up and had a big impact right away. So far, he's pitched 33 innings this year and has a very impressive 2.43 ERA.
However, he is probably best known for his slider. Scouts have begun to take notice, some even saying it has the most movement they've ever seen. Hitters haven't been able to touch it, and as a result Alburquerque has already compiled 53 strikeouts this year. That's the most of any pitcher in the Tigers bullpen, by far.
In comparison, Brad Penny has pitched almost four times as many innings as Alburquerque, but the two pitchers have the exact same number of strikeouts. Alburquerque has been striking out batters at a blistering pace.
Hopefully, Alburquerque can continue the success he's been having for the rest of the regular season. He could potentially be a key to Detroit's playoff hopes, as he might be responsible for holding onto late leads in September, securing victories that are so vital at that point in the year.