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Avila's lack of speed not a factor

The Sports Xchange
Roster Report · Avila's lack of speed not a factor · Notes, Quotes

Alex Avila may take the second-guessing off manager Jim Leyland.

There will come a point this season where Leyland will get criticized -- after the fact, of course, because that's what second-guessing is -- that he either should have pinch-hit or pinch-ran for Avila late in a close game.

The left-handed hitting Avila led off the 10th inning of a 1-1 game against lefty Brian Fuentes of Oakland.

If the Tigers were carrying a third catcher, Leyland might have pinch-hit for Avila. But they don't, and the other catcher, Victor Martinez, was in the game as the DH.

Leyland opted to let Avila hit, and he sent a sharp grounder that hopped under the Athletics' first baseman's glove for an error.

Now Leyland is faced with the choice of letting Avila, who if he isn't the slowest guy on the team is certainly in the running for that distinction, run the bases for himself or get someone faster who has a better chance of breaking up a double play or scoring the go-ahead run.

Leyland elected to let Avila run, but give him some help by having Ramon Santiago sacrifice him to second, which the utility infielder did.

Pinch-hitter Jhonny Peralta was walked intentionally, and after Avila moved to third when a pickoff throw to second went into center for an error, Ryan Raburn walked unintentionally to load the bases. Brennan Boesch came through with a two-run double and the Tigers went on to score seven runs in the inning.

Still, there will come a time this season when things won't work out so well. Because that's the way baseball works.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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2016 Team Leaders
AVGJ.D. Martinez , RF.313
HRMiguel Cabrera , 1B35
RBIMiguel Cabrera , 1B102
OBPMiguel Cabrera , 1B.391
SLGMiguel Cabrera , 1B.549
RIan Kinsler , 2B114
SBCameron Maybin , CF15
WJustin Verlander , SP16
ERAJustin Verlander , SP3.10
WHIPJustin Verlander , SP1.00
KJustin Verlander , SP246
SVFrancisco Rodriguez , RP44

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