Tigers place Sanchez, Avila on 15-day DL
As you probably heard already, the Tigers made two DL moves today, placing right-hander Anibal Sanchez (right shoulder strain) and catcher Alex Avila (deep contusion on left forearm) on the 15-day disabled list.
Both are expected to be minimal DL stints. Sanchez returned home on Sunday for an MRI on his right shoulder. The results showed no structural damage. Avila was still waiting for x-rays as of Monday afternoon, but a preliminary exam taken after Sunday’s game came back negative for structural damage.
“I think they will both be ready in two weeks,” Leyland said.
In Avila’s case, both Leyland and Avila think he could be ready in a matter of days, but they can’t afford to go more than a couple days with only one catcher.
“I don’t think it’s broken,” Avila said, “but obviously it’s something that’ll probably take a few days and we can’t leave the team short-handed.”
Bryan Holaday has been recalled from Triple-A Toledo to take Avila’s place. His average has dropped since his torrid May hitting, but with a .259 average and .702 OPS, he’s still enjoying his best offensive season as a pro.
He will not be an emergency catcher. He’s going to play some games, though the mix isn’t quite clear.
“The playing time will be just kind of a gut feel thing for me,” Leyland said.
If it’s a platoon, ironically, it could put Brayan Pena in a stronger role. Though Pena was signed to spell Avila against left-handed starters, he has actually hit better against right-handers (15-for-40, 2 HR, 9 RBIs) this year than lefties (11-for-48, 3 RBIs). Holaday hasn’t faced many lefties in Toledo, but he’s batting .308 (12-for-39, two doubles, triple) against them.
As for Sanchez’s spot, Jose Alvarez will be called up from Triple-A Toledo on Thursday to start the series opener against the Red Sox. Alvarez, of course, made a huge impression in a spot start last homestand, tossing six innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts against the Indians June 9.
“It looks like we should miss Anibal for two starts and he’ll be right back in there,” Leyland said.