June 15th, 2012

Leyland uncertain about Avila return next weekend

Among the many injury updates Friday afternoon at Comerica Park was a very cautious report on Alex Avila, who just began doing baseball activities again today with batting practice and some early work.

Basically, manager Jim Leyland said, they’re trying to get an idea how far along he is, and how long he’s realistically going to be out.

“We’re evaluating him today as far as where his hamstring’s at, basically going by what he’s telling us, how he feels,” head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Friday afternoon. “He’s going through agilities, he’s going to do some running today, going to swing the bat. He’s out there swinging the bat. … We’ll get a feel for him from an activity perspective today.”

What that means for his timetable is unclear.

“We like to shoot for Pittsburgh [next weekend],” Leyland about a return, “but I don’t know if that’s possible or not. A lot of positive stuff’s got to happen.”

Simply doing any baseball activity is a step up for Avila at this point. He spent the road trip watching them on TV.

“It’s been driving me crazy,” Avila said. “I definitely have more of an appreciation for Skip and the coaches to sit and watch. I was more nervous watching than playing.”

Friday: Tigers (with DH) vs. Rockies

With the designated hitter back for the Tigers for the next six games, keep an eye out on how many games Delmon Young starts at DH. Leyland said last Sunday that he would probably get him a couple games a week in left field, thinking the occasional time can help him at the plate.

With lefty Jeff Francis starting for Colorado, Ryan Raburn gets the start in left field, giving Jim Leyland the extra right-handed bat he wants. Raburn is 3-for-10 with a home run lifetime off Francis, but went just 1-for-7 off Francis last year when Francis was in Kansas City.

With Casey Crosby on the mound, Bryan Holaday gets his first start at catcher since last homestand.


  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Brennan Boesch, RF
  3. Miguel Cabrera, 3B
  4. Prince Fielder, 1B
  5. Delmon Young, DH
  6. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  7. Ryan Raburn, LF
  8. Danny Worth, 2B
  9. Bryan Holaday, C

P: Casey Crosby


  1. Dexter Fowler, CF
  2. Marco Scutaro, SS
  3. Carlos Gonzalez, LF
  4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
  5. Jason Giambi, DH
  6. Todd Helton, 1B
  7. Jordan Pecheco, 3B
  8. Wilin Rosario, C
  9. Chris Nelson, 2B

P: Jeff Francis