Detroit Tigers: Catcher Alex Avila heads to 15-day disabled list
By Dave Holcomb
Detroit Tigers fans must be getting tired of hearing about minor injuries before seeing their stars headed to the disabled list.
Catcher Alex Avila was a late scratch for Friday’s game against the Royals due to a forearm injury. The Tigers initially listed Avila as day-to-day as the ailment wasn’t considered serious.
On Saturday morning, Detroit placed their starting catcher on the 15-day disabled list.
To be fair to the Tigers, Avila’s situation is a little different than Justin Verlander‘s this year or Jose Iglesias‘ last season (both of those started as minor injuries and turned into lengthy DL stints) because Avila is apparently battling multiple injuries.
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Avila was placed on the DL due to a loose body in his left knee according to RotoWorld. The catcher told the media on Saturday that his knee has been bothering him for a few weeks.
There is no early indication as to how long Avila could be out, but Tigers reporter George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press reported on Twitter that Avila hopes to return for the second half of the season.
If fans read between the lines, that means Avila is likely headed to the 60-day disabled list at some point.
Luckily, catcher is one of the positions the Tigers do have some depth. James McCann will take over the catching duties, and as Avila’s backup this season, McCann is hitting .295 with three extra-base hits, five RBI and five runs in 44 at-bats.
Detroit also recalled catcher Bryan Holaday from Triple-A Toledo. He was one of the last cuts before Spring Training and will be McCann’s backup.
That doesn’t mean the Tigers won’t miss Avila, who is a career .245 hitter, has some pop and does an excellent job defensively. This season, Avila is batting .200 with two home runs and eight RBI.
The Avila injury news, of course, comes less than 24 hours after ace David Price left Friday’s game with a hamstring injury. It is unknown at this moment how much time, if any, Price could miss.