Not Al Alburquerque?

When it came time to call up a relief pitcher from Triple A Toledo, after left-hander Jose Alvarez made one start and went back down Sunday, the choice was right-hander Evan Reed. Not Alburquerque. Or Brayan Villarreal.

Manager Jim Leyland said Reed was the recommendation because he was judged as the best fit for the available role — which amounts to helping out in the fifth and sixth or “getting a right-hander out in the seventh.”

But Alburquerque has 18 strikeouts in his 10.1 innings at Toledo. Doesn’t that mean he’s throwing well, too? Not when he’s walked 11.

“I don’t mean this sarcastically,” said Leyland, “but he’s either walking them or striking them out. That’s what it seems like.”

So how do you figure out if he’s ready to come back or not?

“Good question,” Leyland said. “I think one day, if the situation presents itself, you come in and sit down with the general manager and say, ‘Let’s do it.’ ”

But the Tigers aren’t going to do that with Alburquerque being wild.

“The reason for him being down there,” said Leyland, “is to eliminate the walks.

“When you’re still seeing them, it doesn’t make you want to hurry up.

“It doesn’t make it seem urgent — because that’s why he’s down there. But I will say I got a glowing report the other day about his slider.”

Command also appears to be a recurring problem for Villarreal. Despite a 2.21 ERA in 16 appearances, he has walked 16 in 20.1 innings.