Detroit will now be forced to play without its All-Star catcher Alex Avila for at least the next two games, as the Tigers revealed before Tuesday's tilt with Seattle that Avila has a sore left patella (knee) and will need some rest.
Alex Avila out at least today and tomorrow with left patella soreness. Not sure how serious. #Tigers— Jason Beck (@beckjason) May 8, 2012
Avila is hitting .250 with 4 HR and 9 RBI through 23 games this season, and has been behind the plate for 82% of Detroit's games. He suited up for 141 times for the Tigers a year ago, and was named to the American League All-Star squad after smacking 10 home runs and 46 RBI in the first half of the year.
Veteran Gerald Laird will take over behind the plate while Avila is on the shelf, but those close to the situation are hopeful that the talented youngster will be back on the field before long. Still, knowing the wear and tear on the knees that is caused by spending long innings behind the plate, expect the Tigers to be extra cautious with their star catcher.