Mon, Jul 05, 2004 - Page 19 News List

Jose Alberro in fine groove after tweaking action

By Paul Huang  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Jose Alberro of the President Lions was named Pitcher of the Month by the Chinese Baseball Writers Association. He was unbeaten in four starts last month.

PHOTO: CPBL

Two unlikely heroes walked away with the Chinese Baseball Writers Association's (CBWA) Player-of-the-Month honors for June in Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL).

Jose Alberro of the President Lions snagged the Pitcher of the Month award, going 4-0 for the month, while Chinatrust Whales slugger Kuo Dai-yung (郭岱詠) was given the Offensive-Player-of-the-Month honor after accumulating a batting average of above .400 for the last 30 days.

After an outstanding season last year in the Mexican Independent League, primarily as a closer (6-5 with 24 saves and a 2.28 ERA), Alberro joined the Lions' starting rotation, filling in for American ace John Frascatore (2003 ERA champ with a 1.80 ERA), who left the league after last season.

But the 35-year-old former Major Leaguer from Puerto Rico started out on the wrong foot, managing to amass a 2-5 record with a 3.38 ERA before he finally turned his game up a notch.

Alberro allowed just five runs in 30-2/3 innings, driving down his ERA to 1.47.

Opposing hitters averaged .171 against the right-hander, as Alberro found his rhythm with the help of Lions pitching coach Wu Jung-liang (吳俊良).

"We worked on his mechanics and that appears to have made a difference," Wu said.

Alberro became the second Lions pitcher to win the monthly distinction after Michael Garcia, who is now 18-0 in saves, snagged the award in May.

Offensively, Whales slugger Kuo Dai-yung beat out two Brother Elephants -- Chen "the Golden Warrior" Chih-yuan (陳致遠) and Tsai Fong-an (蔡豐安) -- for his first career Player-of-the-Month award. His .429 batting average and 10 RBI for the month is already a vast improvement over his numbers from last season.

Vital statistics

* Jose Alberro of the President Lions won all four of his starts last month

* Alberro allowed just five runs in 30-2/3 innings last month, driving down his ERA to 1.47

* Opposing hitters averaged just .171 against the right-hander last month

* Kuo Dai-yung of the Chinatrust Whales was named Offensive Player of the Month by the Chinese Baseball Writers Association

* Kuo had a .429 batting average last month, along with 10 RBI

* His batting average has risen from .258 last season to .303 this year


Kuo's dominating presence at the plate has raised eyebrows around the league.

The 26-year-old graduate of the Taipei Physical Education College is in his second full CPBL season, and his batting average has risen from .258 last season to .303 this year.

He's the first Whales player to win the CBWA honor since former designated hitter Hung Chi-fong (洪啟峰) last claimed the title in July 2002.

Kuo attributed his recent success to his younger brother, Dai-chi (郭岱琦), who is batting cleanup for Kuo Dai-yung's alma mater.

"He told me not to open up my shoulders too soon, and that apparently helped out with my hitting a great deal," Kuo told local Chinese-language media.

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