Is Canadian Andrew Albers a MLB star in the making?

Canada pitcher Andrew Albers throws to the U.S. during the gold medal baseball game at the Pan...

Canada pitcher Andrew Albers throws to the U.S. during the gold medal baseball game at the Pan American Games October 25, 2011. (REUTERS/Henry Romero)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 12:13 AM ET

The Minnesota Twins have a rock star in Canadian rookie pitcher Andrew Albers.

Or at least a prime minister candidate if we are to believe the signs his fans hold up at Twins games. Either way, the Twins do have a growing nucleus of young pitchers and, right now, Albers is the leader of the band.

"He warrants the mania and the media attention," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "Certainly in his country, he is getting a lot of attention."

Albers got the attention because in the first two starts of his career he pitched 17 1/3 innings of scoreless ball, a Twins team record for a starter. After two games, he an ERA of 0.00, which is certainly going to get attention around Target Field.

A near sellout crowd and a packed press box was at Target Field to see him match up against White Sox All-Star Chris Sale on Saturday. Plenty of people, including Twins personnel people wanted to see if he could continue his historic run.

"The question is (what happens) when he struggles, which he has not done," Ryan said. "I am hoping we don't have to address that. At this level it is inevitable there is going to be a stretch when things aren't going too well and he has to make adjustments. That's when you're going to start seeing how things go when he gets into a bind or when he has to get a strike out or he has to get a tough left-hander out.

"I am hoping everything goes the way of the first two starts have. Might be unrealistic, but he's proved us wrong so far anyways."

The run ended in the first inning. Chicago lead-off batter Alejandro De Aza singled to left and moved to third on an Alexei Ramirez popup to short center that the Twins couldn't reach. De Aza then scored on Paul Konerko's groundout to short.


WATCH: ALBERS SHUTS OUT CLEVELAND

In fact, things got worse for Albers, as he suffered the loss, allowing five runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out three in seven innings. He also gave up his first career home run in the fourth inning to Dayan Viciedo. His rock star record dropped to 2-1, with a 1.85 ERA.

"Early on I was struggling a little bit with my command and falling behind a lot of hitters. Just didn't have a lot of rhythm," Albers said of the outing. "The first three or four innings I was have a tough time hitting outside corner. Had a lot of three-ball counts tonight. That makes for a tough day."

Albers did last seven innings, giving the team a chance to win late and earning the praise of his manager, Ron Gardenhire.

"I thought Albers hung in there pretty good after just one bad inning," Gardenhire said. "You look back at that and if he makes one pitch he's out of that inning, but it ends up costing him four runs. But to his credit, he really competed out there, gave us a good seven innings and held it right there."

Albers didn't crack, despite things going markedly different than his first two outings, which is a good sign for a young pitcher. It might be the kind of mental strength that a team can call on to lead a young group of arms.

Albers could be joining that future group of young starting pitchers that includes rookie call-up Kyle Gibson and this season's surprising Sam Deduno. Gibson has been up-and-down and was sent down to Triple-A after he took the loss Monday in a 6-1 Twins loss to the New York Mets.

Deduno, who began the season pitching very well, has struggled a bit of late. On Saturday, against the White Sox, he had control problems (hitting three batters) reminiscent of last season and lost his seventh game. But he has seven wins on the season and has demonstrated that could be a productive member of the staff in the future.


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