Jonathan Albaladejo is hardly a sexy choice for the final spot in the New York Yankee bullpen. Albaladejo, though, has impressed Manager Joe Girardi and pitching coach Dave Eiland enough that he has made the team out of Spring Training in each of the past two seasons.
So, want to or not, we have to consider the sinker-balling right-hander a legitimate candidate to make the Opening Day roster again in 2010.
Albaladejo is one of those pitchers who is an innings-eater. A guy who does a decent job pitching an inning or two in the middle of a game, or just swallowing up innings in games when a team is behind. Yet, given chances by Girardi last season to move up in the bullpen pecking order, Albaladejo was never able to show that he had what it takes to consistently get key outs late in games.
He seems like a guy who is good enough to be on a big-league roster. He just isn't quite good enough to be truly important to a bullpen.
Albaladejo, 27, posted a 5.24 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP in 32 2009 appearances while shuttling between Scranton and New York. Fairly ugly numbers, and while he might be capable of somewhat better than that he is probably a guy destined to be a journeyman, shuttling from team to team for a few seasons.
As for this season, I could live with him making the team. After all, he is not completely terrible. As long as he isn't asked to get important 7th or 8th-inning outs. Whether he makes the team or not, we will probably see some of Albaladejo in New York at some point this summer.