I find it odd that Avila will be catching for Porcello every outing, as I would have thought that Leyland would want a veteran to handle Porcello. However, if Avila turns out to be a consistently good hitter, this makes a lot of sense, because Laird hasn't exactly been an offensive force this season, and Porcello and Galarraga are clearly the most likely candidates to give up a bunch of runs.
OT: Tigers' Catchers
that Avila had caught Porcello many a time during spring training earlier this year as well as in Porcello's limited time as a Tiger last year after he signed with the team.
If Avila can just provide a brief spark offensively, it'd be huge. Could see them platooning a bit in the next few weeks until Lair picks it up -- could put Laird in the games late as a defensive replacement or pinch hitter if they bring in a lefty to face Avila.
Obviously way too early to talk about this though, Avila has had what? Four ABs?
with Detroit last year. He made his MLB debut in Toronto this year.
He was in the system all year last year in A ball. I think that's what he meant.
It's possible he thinks that those two are going to need more offense down the stretch. Or that those two pitchers don't throw as many pitches in the dirt as the other three. Reports are still saying Avila isn't as strong defensively yet. Plus would any of the more veteran pitchers even listen to Avila if he was trying to call a game?
I believe that Avila also caught Porcello in single A.
Avila is going to be the catcher of the future. He is still young and needs Ab's/work. This is the first season that Laird has caught this many games at this point in the season. So he really needs some days off. Avila in 300 AB's, had 55 walks, so he knows how to work the count. I think he is going to be the starting catcher in 2010.
So he can continue to improve. He was only a catcher one year in college, and sitting on the bench won't help him develop. So it does make sense to try and get him more pt than our other backup catchers got, plus he probably will provide an upgrade offensively from ryan or sardihna.
I would guess that they want to get him experience, since he did seem to be good, but they don't want him robbing Verlander and Jackson with bad defense.
Avila is a solid catcher. Putting he and Rick together will help to create a chemistry for the future.