V-Mart at catcher? Not likely, Leyland says, but possible

Jim Leyland returned to town Friday afternoon still not sure whether he’ll have catcher Alex Avila available to play Saturday night in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. He also wasn’t sure who might catch if Avila can’t go.

He has not ruled out Victor Martinez.

“That has been thought about, yes,” Leyland said on a Friday conference call.

It’s a possibility the Tigers have kept open all along for the postseason, but for the World Series, not the ALCS. If the Tigers advance, they’ll lose the designated hitter for Games 3-5 in the National League city, either St. Louis or Los Angeles. Martinez, 7-for-18 in this series and 16-for-38 in the postseason, would have to find a position in the field in those games, and he caught three times down the stretch in the regular season without any problems to be prepared.

This is different. Martinez, whose days as even a semi-regular catcher ended with knee surgery last year, could bat in the DH spot in Boston. However, Avila’s absence could leave Leyland deciding whether it’s best to catch Brayan Pena and leave everyone else alone, or catch Martinez, move Miguel Cabrera to DH and play one of his utility infielders at third.

Leyland isn’t ready to take the discussion that far.

“It would be an option, let me put it that way, that you could DH Miggy and catch Victor and then obviously play Santiago or Donnie Kelly at third,” Leyland said. “I don’t think that’s going to happen but it would be an option if Alex were not able to play.”

As for Avila, Leyland said he was still dealing with some soreness in his left knee when the Tigers boarded their team plane for Boston on Friday. They won’t make an evaluation until Saturday.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Leyland said. “I have no idea. I’m hoping Alex Avila can catch. That decision will be way down the road yet.”

34 Comments

Avila is injured, play Peña , the backup catcher. Why make any more changes to the lineup that bring them here?
If so, play Peña, VMart at 1B and DH Miguel

What did Peña do to JL? Why is he is in the doghouse?
It was a great idea to play Avila one day after another. Those day game after night games are showing now.
Jason last year:”The Tigers brought back Gerald Laird as a backup catcher in large part to help ease the wear and tear on Alex Avila, who developed patella soreness in both knees by season’s end from catching every day.”

I like the VMart at 1st and Pena at catch, but how about Avila at DH?

It’s his left (back) leg when hitting.

lots of hoping and dreaming going on here tonight: Prince will play 1st

I dont doubt that. I only would like to know why replacing Avila means a new lineup instead of just playing the backup

As Torii often answers in interviews: “that’s a hot tamale.” No comment.

i assume it has to do with the pitching firstly, and his father secondly. His bat 3rd.

The best pitcher in baseball hit hard thanks to two questionable calls and made worst by bad defense. Looks familiar
Puig is overrated , Morosi and Rosenthal wanted him in the HoF after 45 games but he lacks fundamentals, doest know to run of play the field

JL knows that Miggy should have DHing (if playing at all) weeks ago. This may be his chance at penance.
Realistically it obviously should be Pena. that is what he is there for. Add the fact that he hit very well this year. He should have been hitting against Lester anyway.
I think it is more of a matter of JL “liking” Avila too much than “disliking” Pena.
JL has been fixated on playing Avila as though he was the 2nd coming of Johnny Bench or even Jorge Posada.

You forgot Yarier Molina:-}

:-) Let’s see if this works.

Yadier Molina.:-)

8 pm game tomorrow

It’s like if Avila can walk, he plays, and then we sign another backup every offseason. I wouldn’t mind getting Pena in there as a LH bat tomorrow. Scherzer will hold the runners.
Not sure it matters. St. Louis will beat either team in the WS, although it would be nice to have one in Detroit again.
It just has a feel of limping to the finish line, like that old Revolutionary War painting of the drummer, fife, and flag.

Victor at catcher, Miggy at DH, Iglesias at 3rd and Peralta at short. Kelly doesn’t belong on a major league roster, let alone in a starting playoff lineup.

Interesting but why not Peralta at 3rd and Iggy at short?.

Iglesias played 3B before Peralta´s suspension. His last game with Boston( Drew at SS) and the first with Detroit were at 3B.I understand why he played 3B with Boston since Drew is a great SS but probably with Detroit was just to avoid moving Peralta from his usual position

God forbid, but lets bench the Big Boy and put VMart at 1B, Pena at catcher, DH Miggy and put Iglesias, Peralta and Kelly at LF,SS, 3B combo.

Iott : Jl said Iglesias will play SS. So they better avoid FB to LF since that means Jhonny will roam around the Green Monster

Oddly enough that may the one LF in baseball that JP would adapt to

Because no other LF is that little and probably he will be ready to catch the bounce since he wont reach the wall
?

“Treatment?” Avila said when asked how he plans to recover quickly. “Some strong pain killers and I should be, most likely, I’m planning on playing on Saturday.”
Anything but Peña

Si.
I don’t agree about Pena. I think he is more than adequate.Certainly better defensively than what could be expected from Victor.
Pena is a bit of an energizer too. He is the kind of guy that can spark things a tad. I don’t see Avila as a “spark”. More of a bomb or a dud when it comes to offensive contribution.
If Avila is limited in movement then they really should consider Pena. Max can spike a slider into the ground every bit as hard as Anibal.
Fielder is making a situation for himself in Detroit. These next 2 (hopefully) games will go a long way to defining who and what he is to Tiger fans. Another lacklustre performance or two will carry over to next season. Nobody wants that. That would not be good for the ballclub. That contract Boras procured from DD will “live in infamy” for a long long time. (Nolan Ryan was way smarter than people gave him credit for)
The culprit in the contract was not really DD. Illitch can be blamed for that one. Less than a week before that signing DD was saying that Prince was not a good fit in Detroit, and I think he meant it. At any rate, Prince needs to get his arms around his belly and reach the Pesky pole or he will cannon fodder next season. Enough is enough.

If Avila plays tonight, Jim is crazy. Or I’m crazy. Or we both are. I say it’s the third of these three things.

Generally takes a lot of convincing to get JL to leave his comfort zone. He’ll play Avila and hope that “he’ll run into one”.

There are no easy answers for JL. With Cabrera injured he’s dealing with trying to put together a lineup with realistically three DH’s. Getting those three in the lineup, I think the better configuration would be Miguel at 3rd, Victor at 1B, and Prince PH. Would be very surprised if Victor catches. If he does then obviously Miguel should DH with JP at 3B and JI at SS. You could switch those two around and then you’ve got the quickness of Jose guarding against the bunt, giving Victor that assurance and support. Then play Dirks in LF and basically you’ve swapped out Alex for Dirks.

But I don’t mind at all having Pena catch. He would do fine.

There are 2 Marty’s blogging here so I went ahead and added a 2 to mine.

Don’t want the season to end here without going to the World Series and beating those Cardinals

Who made the last out of the ’68 World Series?

A Cardinal.

Or an Ordinal. Tim McCarver the 1st? Just guessing without looking it up. Flood?

McCarver is the guy. Whenever he gets super biased about the Cardingals and the 68 series I think he should be tweeted and reminded about the popup to Freehan.

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