Tigers catcher Alex Avila will play in ALCS Game 6 two days after collision
Two days after suffering a knee injury in a violent collision at home plate, Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila will play in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, Tigers manager Jim Leyland said at his pregame press conference.
Avila strained the patellar tendon in his left knee when Boston catcher David Ross barreled over him during a play at the plate on Thursday.
He initially stayed in the game, but was replaced by backup Brayan Pena before his at-bat the next inning.
Avila, who started 96 games at catcher in his fifth year with the Tigers, is considered the team’s best defensive option behind the plate. The left-handed hitter is 5 for 27 with one home run in the postseason while starting each of Detroit’s 10 games.
Leyland provided an update on Avila’s status on Saturday afternoon (via ASAPSports.com):
“I have talked to him. I got on the plane with him yesterday. I just left him in the trainer’s room ten minutes ago. He’s ready to go. He feels pretty good. I don’t think that will be any kind of a drawback where you’re going ‑‑ the main thing from a manager’s standpoint the one thing you don’t want to happen is when you’re dealing with an injury ‑‑ and I think Alex is fine now ‑‑ the one thing you don’t want to happen is start the game and take him out in the second or third inning. That’s one thing I try to guard against as a manager. If you can’t go, that’s fine; but if you can go, you want to be out for the entire game, if possible.