Detroit Tigers

DL Stint A Blessing In Disguise For Alex Avila


DETROIT, Michigan —

Alex Avila has taken a beating off the field by fans and the media this year, mostly due to his slow start and plummeting batting average. On Sunday, Avila took a beating on the field, after taking a 93 MPH fastball to his left arm which will require the one-time All-Star catcher to head to the disabled list.

The Detroit Tigers officially placed him on the 15-day DL on Monday with what is being called a left forearm contusion. Those are just fancy words for a huge bruise.

While I’m sure there are many places Alex would rather be than the DL, it may be just what the Tigers starting catcher needs to settle down, take a step back, and figure out how to get out of his season long slump.

In 48 games this season, Avila is hitting an abysmal .172 with 5 HRs and just 28 hits. He’s on pace to set a career high for number of strikeouts, with 58 already, and the number of RBIs he has this season matches his uniform number.

It was a busy spring for the Avila’s, with Alex and his wife welcoming a new baby into their family. Perhaps the transition into fatherhood is going a little rougher than we think.

Many people have called for the Tigers to send Avila down to AAA Toledo to work out his problems. Well, those people may have finally gotten their wish. A short rehab stint with the Mud Hens may just be what the doctor ordered. Brayan Pena and Bryan Holaday will fill in behind the plate in the short term.

Let’s hope Avila turns things around, because the Tigers will need their man behind the plate at full health and hitting like it’s 2011 again if they’re going to make any kind of run in the playoffs.


About Jeff Deacon

Jeff joined the DSN crew in 2011 as a beat writer for the Detroit Tigers. He also covers news around the National Hockey League. Jeff currently resides in Phoenix, AZ where he is focusing on a career as an airline pilot. Follow Jeff on Twitter at @JeffDeacs.

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  1. Kameron Brozewski

    June 18, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    dat face

  2. Johnathan Tyszkowski

    June 18, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    this is a cover-up. He’s going to California to be Jarrod’s stunt double on Storage Wars

  3. Eric Eazy E Posa

    June 18, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    its bad for verlander verlanders 4 worst starts were caught by pena

  4. Dennis Gadulka

    June 18, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    This guy takes more hits than any catcher I’ve ever seen. Just speculation, but I think the reason he takes so many hits is because he flinches everytime the batter swings, they have tried time and time again to get him to break this habit, but to no avail. This, along with his dismal, just might make the Tigers seek out a new cacther if this continues over this season and the next.

    • Sparkfist27

      June 20, 2013 at 7:43 pm

      @Dennis Gadulka¬†“flinches when the batter swings”.
      I’m gonna ask you a question, and I mean this honestly… what does that have to do with foul tips? You understand that he’s getting hit with balls that batters are fouling off, right? He could have his eyes closed and it’s not going to make a lick of difference between him getting hit with a foul ball or not. ¬†That’s uncontrollable. I mean, are you saying when he’s flinching, that it’s preventing him from catching balls that batters are fouling off? Because that’s nonsense. Once the batter makes contact with the ball, Avila could be facing backwards, looking downwards, doing the darn chicken dance- it’s not gonna make a difference over whether those balls hit him or not.
      What he can control is things like how close or far he is to the batter, which has been mentioned by Leyland a time or two, something along the lines of “We’ve moved him closer, we’ve moved him farther back, doesn’t make a difference”.
      Getting hit with foul balls is a byproduct of the pitching staff more than anything.

  5. Yasser Khan

    June 18, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    Look at his face..LOL

  6. Yasser Khan

    June 18, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Johnathan’s comment LOL

  7. Amber Marie

    June 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Mike Kerkmaz

  8. Michael Sweet

    June 18, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    best news of the year!!! he F@#$king blows, so tired of him and his 165 avg.!!!!

  9. Detroit Sports Nation

    June 18, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    I agree about the Verlander comment. JV will definitely miss having Avila behind the dish.

  10. Paul Rogers

    June 18, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    I agree, Alex belongs on the same bench with Fernando Valverde when he’s ready to play.

  11. Thomas Patrick Clark

    June 18, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    it’s always a bad thing, hello? injury? but it’ll give bryan pena a chance to be out number one catcher for awhile

  12. Joshua Halliday

    June 18, 2013 at 10:11 pm

    The future of the Detroit Red Wings is looking pretty bright

  13. Brian Passuello

    June 19, 2013 at 1:50 am

    keep valverde on the bench also .

  14. Mary McKee

    June 19, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Yes! I kept saying Verlander does not like the way Pena catches. He seems to do better with Avila. Why? I really don’t know. Avila is not that good of a catcher.