No one in the Detroit Tigers‘ lineup was able to have much luck against the Kansas City Royals‘ pitchers — starter Ervin Santana and the Royals’ bullpen — on Friday night. Somehow, the American League’s top hitters, including Miguel Cabrera, just couldn’t get anything done offensively.
The same goes for catcher Alex Avila, who continues to struggle offensively. Most people feel Detroit’s biggest need is for a short reliever. This particular night it was a matter of not having nine guys who could hit the ball. That includes Avila, who does not show signs of snapping out of his season-long slump. It’s now almost four months into the season and Avila is punchless at the plate. The Tigers would like him to revert to his 2011 season, when he played 141 games, batted .295, and had 19 home runs and 82 RBIs. Forget it, it’s not going to happen.
Right now, the Tigers would like to see Avila go back to his disappointing 2012 MLB season, when he took a nose dive from the previous year. But he was still doing better than what’s taking place right now. He batted .242 that season in 116 games with nine home runs and 48 RBIs. He has six home runs and 21 RBIs right now.
If anyone thinks Avila can suddenly return to his 2011 days, forget it. If he can get hot and get that average well over .200 in the remaining weeks of the season, that will help the team. The Tigers can’t be putting Avila in the lineup if he’s not going to deliver. If his batting average stays around .170 for the next week or so, it’s time to make a move that’s in the team’s best interests.