Albers will start Saturday against the Tigers in place of Chris Sale (illness), Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports. With Sale reportedly under the weather (not traded), Albers will step in opposite Matt Boyd for his first start since 2008. Albers has struggled since April and hasn't thrown more than 37 pitches in appearance this season, so Saturday will effectively be a bullpen game for the White Sox.
Albers (2-4) worked around two hits and a walk in two scoreless frames Wednesday against the Mets, and he helped his own cause by doubling and scoring the game-winning run in the top of the 13th. A 33-year-old veteran reliever, Albers hadn't even had an at-bat since 2009, and both of his career hits came way back in 2007, back when he was a starting pitcher. But you wouldn't have known it from the way the chunky righty -- who bats lefty -- socked a 2-2 pitch into the gap in left-center, getting it past the Mets' outfielders, who were playing shallow. He came around to score on a wild pitch and a sac fly, then came out for the bottom of the frame and locked down his win.
Albers allowed a two-run, game-winning home run against the Astros on Tuesday to suffer his third loss of the season. Albers looked invincible for the first few weeks of the season, but that time has passed. Evan Gattis' knock Tuesday was the third home run Albers has allowed over his past six appearances, and his lack of strikeouts has begun to catch up to him.
Albers allowed three runs on two hits in just two-thirds of an inning against the Rangers on Tuesday to take his first loss of he season. Albers has been one of the White Sox's more reliable relievers this season, but a three-run home run to Ryan Rua proved to be his (and the White Sox's) downfall in a high-scoring affair Tuesday. Albers remains one of the more prominent pieces in the White Sox's bullpen, but his lack of strikeouts and save chances make him a limited fantasy option.
Albers has taken on a more prominent role in the White Sox's bullpen, frequently pitching in the seventh, eighth, or ninth innings of close games. Albers has quietly become one of the more reliable in the White Sox's bullpen. He lacks the strikeout volume of some of the game's other relievers, but he has not allowed a run dating back to the beginning of last August. Nate Jones might get first dibs at the team's closer role should something happen to David Robertson, but Albers will continue to be in the mix for holds.