Avila's role expanding

What had been a plan to use Alex Avila to catch just Rick Porcello and Armando Galarraga starting out seems to be expanding a bit. Avila is in the lineup tonight to catch Edwin Jackson, and manager Jim Leyland suggested Friday that he could use Avila with left-hander Jarrod Washburn going forward.

That said, manager Jim Leyland mentioned after Saturday’s game that Gerald Laird will catch Sunday with Galarraga pitching. That has more to do with the opposing pitcher; Laird is 5-for-12 off Royals starter Kyle Davies with a double, homer and three RBIs.

Using Avila with Jackson isn’t a decision made on the spur of the moment. When Leyland set Avila’s schedule initially, he said he wanted to give Avila a chance to catch Jackson in a side session, which he did. Plus, Jackson has struggled in two of his last three starts.

If Avila starts catching Jackson regularly, of course, that’ll be the sign that Avila is starting more often than Laird.


  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Thomas, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Guillen, DH
  6. Thames, LF
  7. Avila, C
  8. Inge, 3B
  9. Santiago, SS

P: Edwin Jackson


  1. David DeJesus, LF
  2. Mitch Maier, CF
  3. Billy Butler, 1B
  4. Mike Jacobs, DH
  5. Alberto Callaspo, 2B
  6. Mark Teahen, RF
  7. Brayan Pena, C
  8. Alex Gordon, 3B
  9. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS

P: Luke Hochevar


I love Gerald Laird so you have to wonder how he’s taking this. He’s always wanted to be the starting catcher and now here comes Avila. Of course, Avila just seems to be red hot right now which is what we need, but it’s at Geralds’ expense. Hope he’s not fuming inside.

Gerald is a good tiger, a good catcher and a good leader. He is not, however, a good hitter. I think the JL decision to use Avila has more to do with his hitting, rather than what JL says, which was some thing about EJ’ last starts.
If the Tigers are to remain in the hunt they have to find some hitting somewhere. If it comes in the form of a minor league call-up then they will likely go with it till it stops. Speaking of stopping, this is what has happened with Clete (again), and one has to wonder how long he will be batting 3rd.
The lack of hitting at the bottom of the order ( and yes, I did see Brandon ‘s walk-off), is a serious blight on the offense which struggle anyway. JL can ill afford to have Granderson, the bottom of the lineup and any 2 other players not hitting. This is why we see Avila I think.
Santiago is IMO an upgrade over Everett. He is every bit as good a fielder and may even turn the DP a tad bit better. he certainly hits with more power and versatiltiy. He could give the offense a little more flexibility in that I feel he could leadoff. Granderson is not stimulating the Tigers as leadoff man this year anyway. Another bigger bat in the middle of the lineup might be just what the doctor ordered.. I’m not saying Santiago is a leadoff man I am only saying that he could leadoff if you need a change in the order.
I would not be surprised to see them call up Dlugach though I would suspect he will be in September.
JL must realize that while we have wondthe last 2 games the chances that we shutout the opposition enough to win our division are impossible. His team has scored a grand total of 3 runs in the last 2 games. If we had lost those games (pretty normal scenario with 3 runs), we would have a lot of fans very worried about the offense and what the future holds. JL has to find a way for his team to score runs.

Gerald Laird has been superb in defense. You pay a catcher for his game calling, his base trowing. Avila is a 3 days wonder who need a lot of seasoning. The first commenter is on target. Of course he needs the rest that Ryan was unable to allow him.
And Laird must be here the next year. Who really think you can win with rookies in 3 spots of the central line?
Iorg, Sizemore and Avila at the same time in 2010, be ready for last place.
BTW: Texas is looking for catching help, they miss Laird now.

N.B. Jim Leyalnd and Curtis Granderson. Did you happen to see wehat David DeJesus did in the 3rd inning?
If I manage this team I am telling Curtis we need him to supply some dyanism and that comes in the form of expanding your mentality at the plate and isntigating some movement on the base paths. They are wasting his speed. Absolutely wasting it instead of exploiting it.

Aflack: Believe it or not I think this one may be Stormin’ Norman Cash

I missed it. What was the question?

Whew, we got lucky on that. Jeez, I thought Grandy was gonna catch that ball. Guess it got hit farther than he thought. Nice recovery by the Tigers.

I am far more pi$$ed off at JL than Clete on that crucial AB. Clete should not be in there right now because he is strugglings as much as anybody could be struggling. It’s obvious to me and it should be obvious to JL.

Edwin looks like his rhythm is off. And this may very well be because of the catcher behind the plate. He went out to talk with Edwin, so that’s a good sign.

Now, Rick Knapp goes out there.

Now, Rick Knapp goes out there.

A double post because the first time I posted it took me back to the MLB login page. So, I login again only to come back here and get a double post.

HR for Carlos! Whoopee!

Bet Miggs wished he faced Hockevar everyday – now 8 for 9 with 4 RBI’s. We needed that HR before he finished.

After all is said and done, Brandon sure is a good 3rd baseman. Oh, Lord, KC just hit a HR. C,mon Edwin, throw strikes.

I do admit I am kinfd of a negative guy. We have a lead and there are many positives in tonight’s game so far. but. the TH boys are a concern now. Thames and Thomas.. We really need some production and we could really benefit from it if it cme from the corner OF spots. Thomas andt Thames are doing virtually nothing. Hollow base hits, no critical intense AB’s. I am not an Ordonez fan but it is evident to me that it is “stupid” to have him sitting while both corner outfielders are floundering.
Guillen is starting to make me feel quite happy he has been able to come back like he has.

Go Carlos – and now both sides of the plate. There is no substitutes for Carlos and Maggs offensive output.

Can you spell —-LHB?

I have never liked the way JL throws call ups into the deep end placing immediate high expectations on their shoulders.
Expanding Avila’s role so soon is typical.
Early days with this being only his 5th start but he is looking the real deal. Could be a tremendous DH for us with Laird still doing the majority of calls.

I wish he’d move Clete down in the order, but he probably won’t until he hits bottom. Avila does look to be the real deal, but it’s still early and we will see how teams make adjustments for him and vice versa. He appears to work slower than Laird and you know Gerald would have made that throw to 1st base. Laird is still the better defensive catcher, but you know how people like their HR’s and hits.

JL is in a pretty nice positon here. Seay has pitched 2 and i unlikely to be available for tomorrow. he could let him finish it of and stoke him up with a save or he could groom Lyon here for the finish.

Great game–comprehensive. Bat, field, pitch.
Lyon looked strong agian and I can “feel” that he is being groomed for the closer role. I know they will give Rodney a lot of slack but if/when he falters, Lyon will be ready.
Avila is making JL pretty happy right now.

Is it just my imagination or have they changed the pronunciation of Avila’s name? It seems first it was “Ah vil la” – now it seems more like “Ah vee la”. Which is it? Just curious. Good game tonite!

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