May 18, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila (13) throws to first base during the game against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
According to the team’s official website, the Detroit Tigers have activated catcher Alex Avila from the 15-day disabled list and optioned Bryan Holaday back to AAA Toledo. Avila hit just .242/.286/.394 in his 35 plate appearances during his AAA rehab stint, but, if you’re looking for some encouragement, he brought that up to .333/.364/.571 in his last five games (22 PA).
Backup catcher Brayan Pena performed well enough in Avila’s stead, but not so well as to allow him to keep the starting job. Pena “hit” .278 while Avila was sidelined, not a bad batting average (if you’re into that sort of thing), but the accompanying .316 OBP and .306 SLG weren’t going to send charge through the lineup. Avila has been poor with the bat in the big leagues this season, but of the two, he’s the one with the greater potential to provide an impact bat at the back of the lineup (owing to his still above average career batting line).
"“I thought [Holaday] did a good job while he was here, but Alex is our regular catcher and we’ll be thrilled to get him back,” Leyland said. “If he gets some hits, we’ll be good.”"
Expect Avila and Pena to resume their traditional platoon whereby Avila catches most days versus right-handed pitchers and Pena spells him mostly against left-handed pitchers.