Craig Albernaz is one of WDBB's all-time favorite Durham Bulls, right up there with Chris Richard, Jon Weber, Fernando Perez, Joe Dillon, and Elliot Johnson. His numbers aren't all that spectacular, but in our section of the stands that was always attributed to his lack of playing time. And that really was a problem from our point of view. Over 5 seasons, he only got in 121 games, far fewer than many lesser catchers we've seen come through the DBAP. We thought that 2013 was going to be his year, since, other than Chris Gimenez, the Bulls were light on catchers. Didn't happen.
Mr. Albernaz is certainly a fan's ballplayer. He appears to be focused every minute of the game. He seems to handle pitchers extremely well. He has caught every star pitcher that has come up through the Rays system for the last several years. His work on behalf of the Rays was noted on his departure.
He is off to the Detroit system on a minor league contract, reportedly because he has been offered an opportunity for more playing time. That means he may be coming back to the DBAP in a Mud Hens uniform. Or maybe not.
To be perfectly honest, I could not be happier for the young man. We have often thought that the Rays simply were not giving him the opportunities he deserved and were continually puzzled by their unwillingness to put him behind the plate more often.
Lastly, as we wrote back when in happened, he is responsible for one of our greatest thrills as a Durham Bulls fan. Let's look at it a again. Thanks, Craig! Good luck!