The case for much-maligned Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila
|Alex Avila: OPS has been good|
The Avila detractors I've talked on my radio show (and they call consistently after Tigers' games) invariably say he is overrated defensively. But I think it is fair to suggest Avila is solid defensively. Like most catchers he is dependent on his pitchers holding base runners well. He is a good receiver. He seems to have a good rapport with his pitching staff.
Avila has hit poorly in the postseason, but he has had a bearing on some of the series the Tigers won defensively (particularly vs. Oakland in '12).
While Avila may not be a "strength" for the Tigers in the sense of their star-caliber players, I don't see him as a "weakness," either, especially considering the dearth of quality catching in MLB.
My column. A thin line between settling and spoiled for Detroit fans: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20140505/there-is-a-thin-line-between-spoiled-and-not-settling-for-detroit-sports-fans-pat-caputo-says