Aug. 20, 2015
Avila's Future in Detroit Uncertain
Five seasons ago, 2010, a young catcher by the name of Alex Avila was in his first full season in the Major Leagues. Avila was being tested behind the plate as they Tigers were not part of the playoff race. Then Veteran Gerald Laird was beginning to shift from the starting catcher to the role player. Avila’s time was just beginning in Detroit.
In 2011 Avila caught Justin Verlander’s no-hitter in Toronto, made his first All-Star roster as the starting catcher for the American League and caught a majority of the pitches of the Tiger’s postseason run – Avila entrenched himself behind the plate for the foreseeable future.
The 2015 season has been an injury riddled season for Avila. He has had to adjust to a new role for the Tigers – spending a majority of the time on the bench watching young stud James McCann blossom into a big league player. Avila is only 28 years old and is getting ready to enter free agency for the first tie at the conclusion of this season – the biggest question, will he chose to be a part-time catcher in Detroit?
While Miguel Cabrera was out for 6 weeks due to injury, Detroit Manager Brad Ausmus was able to utilize Avila at first base – this necessity is no longer needed with the return of Cabrera. Avila has been spending his time trying to adjust to the new role. Avila said “At this point, for the rest of this season for me, I go through every single day trying to figure out a routine that will best keep me prepared. That’s really all I can do.”
Upon the conclusion of the 2015 season Avila will have to make a decision – he will have to decide what is best for his career and his family. With his father being named the new General Manager of the Tigers they both have made it clear that their father-son relationship will not play into any decisions made by the Tigers when it comes to Avila’s future with the team.