Leyland drops hint on backup catcher

Next to filling out the rotation, Jim Leyland said today that deciding on a backup catcher is his top priority. And though Leyland said he hasn’t decided on one yet, he dropped a pretty good hint on Alex Avila’s chances.

When asked how much playing time will weigh into the decision, Leyland said, “That will be one of the factors, but not a sole factor. We’re going to do what we feel is the best thing for the Detroit Tigers right now. Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it, too.”

The key terms in that is “right now.” The big question with Avila’s chances has been whether he’d be better off learning as the understudy in Detroit this year or honing his skills by catching everyday at Triple-A Toledo. The latter possibility is a big reason why the Tigers signed Robinzon Diaz to a minor league contract.

Third on the priority list? Figuring out the last player on the roster, Leyland said, which suggests he has most of the position spots on the bench (aside from backup catcher) figured out.

3 Comments

Probably stupid of me but I wasn’t really concerned to much about the pitching going into this year. Not sure I thought it would be what it was last year, but still not bad. Well that is changing in a big way. The two new guys Scherleth and Scherzer have down right stunk. Miner, Galarraga, Zumaya, Bondo, and Nate have all been disappointing. I know that it is still early, but you would like to see a little something???????

Avila being a power lefty is going to be too tempting to pass up regardless of the long term benefits of bedding down his defense.
The bench seems clear cut with Kelly out of options probably ahead of Clete. We have lost enough players off waivers.
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If pitching is supposed to be ahead of the hitters at this stage, we may have a problem with 3-5 in the rotation. Anyone else feel a bit uneasy when Dontrelle and Nate are looking the goods ahead of Bondo and GMan? Hopefully Scherzer can relax and settle down.
The D-Backs sure got a good deal gaining two starters in EJaz and Ian Kennedy for Scherzer and Schlereth.

Sure didn’t like reading that JL will acquiesce to DD on selecting the pitching rotation. IMO, this is the job of the manager, not the GM.
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I don’t even like the concept of DD pulling rank and making that decision.
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It’s pretty early and even the really good pitchers at this stage don’t neccessarily have good results or stats (ie Santana).
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Bonderman will not make the grade if he can’t come up with the minimum 3 pitch aresenal required of effective MLB starters.
I would be aghast if they even tried to get away with that one.
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Willis is an ongoing study. G-Man appears to have lost his touch and Nate is likely, in my mind, the guy that has the advantage here.
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Wouldn’t it be nice to have a Freddie Garcia about now?
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I don’t see Kelly over Clete Thomas going into the regular season. Simply because if AJ can’t cut it they need a viable CFer. Kelly is not that.
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Sizemore is becoming a question mark. We have no potent replacement for him. Santiago just adds to the misery of an unproductive slugger up the middle. Can’t afford the Laird, Everett, AJ and Ramnon combination.
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Dlugach is destined for obscurity.
I like the idea of him but he just strikes out too much.
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Not my choice but I think we may be in fact, lucky, to have Bonine around

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