CHICAGO -- Reliever Al Alburquerque is scheduled to be examined by Tigers medical personnel on Thursday in Detroit after the gifted rookie right-hander was unavailable to pitch in Wednesday's series finale against the White Sox. At this point, the issue isn't expected to be major, and Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he expects to have Alburquerque available for Thursday's series opener against the Angels at Comerica Park. However, the team should know more once it can check him out at home. Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Alburquerque was playing catch before Wednesday's game when he said he couldn't go. He was not in the bullpen during the late innings of Detroit's 2-1 loss, and Chance Ruffin was warming up.
Alburquerque hasn't pitched since tossing a scoreless inning on Sunday at Minnesota, but Rand said no issue popped up until Wednesday. The Tigers have been careful to watch his use since his return from the disabled list after the All-Star break. He has worked 4 1/3 scoreless innings, with four stranded runners, a walk and six strikeouts since then. Right elbow soreness forced Alburquerque to the DL on July 1, leaving a hole in Detroit's middle relief corps. But his stay on the DL was a minimal one, consisting mainly of rest for the arm.