Avila made the day’s most spectacular defensive play, diving into the crowd far down the right-field line to retire Russell Martin in the fourth inning.
On Saturday, catcher Alex Avila — fresh off the disabled list — was asked to make his major league debut at first base.
Avila is hitting .200 in 22 games this season, he batted .218 in 2014, and .227 in 2013.
“James McCann’s done an excellent job … but experience is huge when it comes to that position,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Thursday.
The Tigers are currently on a five-game losing streak. With a 28-25 record, Detroit is third in its division, 3.5 games out of first place.
Catcher and the three infield positions are often the most difficult to find good players on your fantasy teams, because the talent pool is so shallow. If you don’t grab a stud at those positions early in your draft, you may get stuck with a revolving door of middling players all season long.
“I can’t give you an exact time frame, [but] it’s certainly shorter than what they expect if he’d have had surgery,” Ausmus said.
“Alex is going to see Dr. Kyle Anderson … tomorrow for another evaluation,” Ausmus said. “We should know more tomorrow.”
“He’s really good about helping with those nuances and kind of making that learning curve not as big of a learning curve,” McCann said.
In a corresponding move, the Tigers are recalling the contract of catcher Bryan Holaday from Triple-A Toledo.