Thursday, August 24, 2017

Gibson Alba, Some Help - 5

Originally published Feb. 6, 2012
The Cardinals were looking forward to a difficult stretch later that year in 1989, one that included three double headers in a short span.

Manager Whitey Herzog thought they might need some help.

"We might see (minor leaguer) Gibson Alba again," Herzog told The AP that May.

Herzog and the Cardinals had seen Alba before, the previous May. It was the first major league appearance for the left hander after a decade in the minors.

That string of double headers in 1989, though, came and went. Alba didn't get recalled then, or again, his major league career consisted of just those games in 1988, all of three outings.

Alba's career began back in 1976, signed by the Pirates as a 16-year-old out of his native Dominican Republic.

He's first credited as playing the next year, with the Pirates' rookie Gulf Coast League team. In 1977 and 1978, Alba pitched in seven games.

After skipping 1979 and 1980, Alba returned for 1981 with the Cardinals, playing at single-A for three teams. With single-A St. Petersburg in a May game, Alba pitched only one inning, but gave up six earned runs, according to The St. Petersburg Times.

Alba arrived with the Blue Jays for 1982, playing at single-A Florence. He first made AA at Knoxville in 1984, then hit AAA Syracuse in 1985.

After going through the Brewers and Indians systems, Alba was selected by the Cardinals for 1988 through the minor league draft.

By May, he was in the major leagues, called up to fill in for an injured Danny Cox. In 3.1 innings of work, over three outings, Alba was charged with one earned run. Alba, though, did give up a three-run triple.

Sent back to AAA, Alba got into 58 games, posting an ERA of 3.89. He stayed with the Cardinals into 1990, pitching a three-hit shutout in a start for Louisville in April 1990. He played just one more season, never getting back to the majors.

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