Good news for the Tigers, as catcher Alex Avila is back in the lineup for tonight’s series finale against the Red Sox.
Avila was diagnosed with a “mild concussion” after he was hit in the head by David Ortiz’s backswing during Friday’s game. While it was a concern given his history, he has passed the proper concussion protocol. The Tigers held him out of yesterday’s lineup as a precaution, but he’s ready to go tonight.
Avila, 27, is batting .217/.341/.370 with four home runs and 13 RBI over 47 games this season. The offense hasn’t been there, but he has thrown out 42 percent (21 out of 50) of attempted basestealers. Only Yadier Molina has been better among MLB catchers.
Setting their rotation for the beginning of the ALDS versus the Blue Jays, the Rangers announced that right-hander Yovani Gallardo will start Game 1 and left-hander Cole Hamels will start Game 2.
Gallardo posted a 3.42 ERA in 33 starts this season, but averaged just 5.6 innings per start and hasn’t completed six or more innings in a start since mid-August. Clearly the Rangers will be hoping for five or six innings from him before turning it over to the bullpen.
Hamels, on the other hand, averaged seven innings in his 12 post-trade starts for the Rangers, including tossing a complete-game against the Angels in the regular season finale. He’s obviously the Rangers’ best starting pitcher, but because Hamels was needed to clinch the division title in Game 162 he’s not available to start Game 1 of the playoffs.
In the seemingly never-ending trend of front office officials getting new titles, the Cleveland Indians just announced that General Manager Chris Antonetti has been promoted to President of Baseball Operations and Mike Chernoff is now the GM.
Antonetti has been the Tribe’s GM for the past five years and is moving up in the wake of team president Mark Shapiro moving on to Toronto. Shapiro, however, also held business side responsibilities which Antonetti will not assume. Meaning, as before, he will be the top guy on baseball ops decisions, albeit with a grander title.
Chernoff has been an assistant GM for five years and has been with the organization for the past 12 years. As many new GMs these days he will, functionally speaking, still be an assistant when it comes to baseball decisions.