At the end of the 2011 season when Alex Avila hit .295 with 19 home runs and drove in 82 I thought we finally had our next Lance Parish. Someone who could hit for power and average while expertly handling the pitching staff.
While he has continued to handle the pitching staff with an expert hand his hitting has never come close to repeating his sensational 2011 season. When I saw him hit the game winning single against the New York Yankees yesterday afternoon I thought “good for you Alex.”
I wish they would keep a stat of the win/loss record of the starting catcher for each Major League team, I would be willing to bet that Alex Avila would be at the top of the league each year. While hitting is always important handling the pitching staff is just as important for a catcher.
If you asked any of the pitchers on the Detroit Tigers they would say that Alex Avila is one of the best in the game at keeping them in the game. While Hitting is easier to see and understand how someone is doing the Detroit Tigers have won 2 Cy Youngs in the last 3 years with Alex Avila as the starting catcher, and he has a lot to do with that.
He may not be hitting as well as he or the fans would like this year but he does come through every once in a while. As the Detroit Tigers have struggled since the ALL STAR break any contribution from anyone cannot be over looked. This is especially true when in yesterdays game they get the first two hitters on with 0 outs and the next two batters strike out, this has happened entirely too often this year.
Despite the Tigers having the highest batting average and the third most runs scored they have a losing record since starting the season 27-12. This team has either not scored enough or the bullpen has let them down. With exactly 30 games left in the season hopefully they can win enough games to win the division and finally end the 30 year World Series drought.