Found June 18, 2012 on
Fox Sports Detroit:
TOLEDO, Ohio The first step in Alex Avila's return to the Detroit Tigers went without a hitch.
As planned, Avila caught lefty Andy Oliver for five innings, had two at-bats and ended his night without incident Monday in his first rehabilitation start for the Toledo Mud Hens.
"Just kind of what I expected as far as where I was at physically," Avila said. "Just trying to build up my stamina. From not doing anything for about a week and a half to catching and running, throwing, hitting, that kind of stuff, it kind of feels like spring training a little bit. First day, probably a little shocking to the body. But I feel really good."
Avila has been on the 15-day disabled list since June 6 with a right hamstring strain. He did not go on the Tigers' most recent road trip to Cincinnati and Chicago and only returned to baseball activity over the weekend.
Although he hated to go on the DL, Avila admits it was the right thing to do so the hamstring strain didn't recur.
"I didn't want to happen what kind of happened earlier where I took three days off, tried to play and then couldn't," Avila said. "Muscle injuries are tricky. Normally you gotta shut it down and not do anything until it's fully healed. I was out two weeks or so, it could have been a month and I didn't want that to happen."
Avila's work over the weekend was so encouraging that the Tigers decided to send him to Toledo for three games.
"I knew coming into (Monday) from what I was doing in Detroit over the weekend that my hamstring was good and I just wanted to make sure I could get it to where I could go 100 percent not thinking about it," Avila said. "Now it's just kind of getting back into a nice rhythm at the plate and seeing some pitches, take some balls off the chest, building up some bruises and stuff like that. That's what these games are about."
Avila flew out to right and struck out swinging in his two at-bats Monday night. He also got in plenty of work behind the plate with Oliver.
"Andy was a little wild at times but it was good to get back there and see some pitches and block some balls and move around," Avila said.
As for batting, Avila knows it'll just take a little time to get his timing back.
"First time I've seen a pitcher in almost two weeks," Avila said. "Saw some pitches, had some pretty decent swings and feel pretty good. Couple more days of good at-bats and I'll be ready to go."
Avila is supposed to catch five innings again Tuesday night and then be the designated hitter Wednesday. If all of that goes as well as Monday night's game, Avila will come off the DL and catch Jacob Turner Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Seeing the Tigers play better the last week or so has been encouraging for Avila while he's been out.
"They've been playing really good baseball, consistent, winning series," Avila said. "That's what it's going to take for us to get back in it. We're only three games out. That's nothing. That can change in a series. You just gotta play consistent. To play consistent, you gotta play good defense, get timely hitting, get good pitching. We've been able to do that recently. It's a lot more fun to play that way.
"It's been a lot of fun watching them but I can't wait to get back."
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Jim Leyland sent writers out of his office Sunday after his pre—game meeting with the press under the impression that Thursday was going to be a Mr. Bullpen day for the Detroit Tigers. "I'm thinking about making that start a bullpen game," Leyland said. "Sometimes that's not a bad idea." But between leaving the clubhouse and the time of the game...
The Detroit Tigers don't need a dramatic, walk-off victory to turn their season around. They need calm, peaceful games like they got Saturday and Sunday against the Colorado Rockies.
Jim Leyland has talked all season about Detroit's struggle to find "good combinations" - games where the Tigers play well in every facet of the game. Those have been rare, hence the...
Reliever Octavio Dotel, on the 15-day disabled list since June 3 with right elbow inflammation, has been activated by the Tigers.
Dotel is 1-2 with a 4.42 ERA in 21 appearances for the Tigers this season.
Pitcher Thad Weber was sent to Toledo to make room for Dotel.
The Detroit Tigers have won six of eight games since Austin Jackson got off the disabled list.
It doesn't seem to be a coincidence.
The speedy center fielder is tough to replace because he covers a lot of ground in the outfield. The improved hitter is also valuable in the team's leadoff spot. Jackson's batting average is up, his power has increased and striking out...
Dave Dombrowski and the Tigers think that injured DH Victor Martinez could be a major solution to their ongoing problems. Continue reading →
Watching Max Scherzer pitch is like trying to believe in Lucy Van Pelt.
As enticing as it might be to surrender to their talent of persuasion, you know in the end that youll end up flat on your back, looking up at the sky and vowing to never go down that road again.
Unlike Lucy, who will always pull the football away, Scherzer is even more confounding because hell actually show...
Each week, good or bad, we’ll take a look back at the biggest theme of the week that was for the Detroit Tigers. Badly needing a second rock in their inconsistent starting rotation, the Detroit Tigers returned Doug Fister this … Continue reading →
The Detroit Tigers may still be searching for an extended win streak, but they have at least figured out a way to win some series. Continue reading →
DETROIT (AP) -- Justin Verlander allowed one earned run in seven innings, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 6-3 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.
Verlander (7-4) retired 12 of the first 13 hitters he faced and worked out of a seventh-inning jam to help Detroit hold on. He struck out Allen Craig with the bases loaded with his final pitch. Verlander allowed five...
It was a win, but a win with a cloud over it. The Detroit Tigers defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3 Tuesday night, but with Phil Coke getting the save, not closer Jose Valverde, who was sitting down in dejection after feeling pain in his right wrist while throwing his last warmup pitch. "It felt sore and tight," Valverde said before heading off to nearby Detroit Medical...
I could have made this into another Yakety Sax post using the Rockies, but seeing Miguel Cabrera labor around the bases was much better
DETROIT -- The Detroit Tigers are not the Miami Heat. But in the middle of our national fascinationdisgust with the Heats superstar glitz, Jim Leyland welcomed a lively discussion about stardom, team identity and the dirtball element his Tigers lack.
In all likelihood, Leyland had been saving up this A material for weeks. His team, one of the most disappointing in baseball for two...
DETROIT Quintin Berry probably won't be a .333 hitter in the big leagues for long.His real level is probably 70 or 80 points lower than that, but for the moment, he's going to just let things ride.Sunday, Berry went 5 for 5 in Detroit's 5-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies the first time in his short career that he has gotten more than three hits in a game. "You...
DETROIT (AP) -- The Tigers have been winning lately -- six victories in eight games since Austin Jackson came off the disabled list.
It doesn't seem a coincidence.
"He kind of gets everything started for us," said Detroit catcher Alex Avila, who is hoping to get off the DL himself this week and join Jackson in the lineup. "It's not a surprise to us that he...
Not getting a win for a while seems to have frustrated Justin Verlander, and the National League is starting to pay the price. For the second game in a row, he took his frustration out on an unlucky opponent from … Continue reading →