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In his career, the soon-to-be-28-year-old Albers is 15-25 with a 5.11 ERA. He’s struggled with control, walking 149 batters in 317.1 innings. Given his ugly numbers, is he merely spring training cannon-fodder, or does he have a chance to make the Red Sox staff?
His statistics are similar to another Chesapeake Bay-area retread recently signed by the Sox, Jason Bergmann. Surely these guys won’t have much chance to make the team in Boston. Then again, there are currently a couple of open spots in the bullpen, and if the season started today, Albers and Bergmann would probably be battling it out for one of them. (Thank God the season doesn’t start today.)
Albers did post solid second-half numbers last season: 2-0, 4.22 with 11 walks in 32 innings, compared to 3-3, 4.74 with 23 walks in 43.2 IP in the first half. Supposedly he started throwing a hard slider in the middle of last season, and began inducing more groundballs, so maybe he’s turned the corner and will become a decent pitcher.
But even after adding Albers, a pitcher with underwhelming stats who was non-tendered by the pitching-poor Orioles, Theo Epstein has a lot of work left to do on the bullpen. Reported Red Sox target Matt Guerrier signed a 3-year deal with the Dodgers on Wednesday, leaving one less decent middle reliever on the market, with holes still remaining in the Sox bullpen.