Avila to miss Saturday's game after hit to head
JUN 06, 2014 11:39p ET
Friday, it was a bat that sent him to the sidelines.
"We're going to keep an eye on him," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "It looked like he might have a mild concussion, but we're hoping that he'll be OK by tomorrow morning. Either way, he definitely won't play tomorrow. We'll see how he is after that."
Avila has been sidelined by concussions before, and as a former catcher himself, Ausmus knew the warning signs.
"Kevin (Rand) was out there asking him the questions you always ask, and when he didn't get one of them right, I was taking him out of the game," he said. "I remember getting a concussion, and the trainer asked me what the count was, and I had to look at the scoreboard. Then he asked me who we were playing, and I had to look into the other duguout to figure it out.
"So when Alex didn't get one right, I knew what it meant."
While both Ausmus and Jim Leyland, also a former catcher, have said that they don't understand why Avila gets hit so often, Friday's case was a little different.
"He's certainly not the first guy that Papi has gotten," Ausmus said. "He certainly never wants to hurt anyone, but he's got that huge swing, and when a righty throws him a curveball and he misses, the bat is going to come way back. I've told Alex that he might want to back up a little against hitters like that, but if you back up, you aren't giving your pitcher a good target.
"It's tough, because you want to do your job, but you don't want to get hit."
It wasn't the first time Ortiz had hit Avila -- the same thing happened in 2010 -- and the Red Sox star was clearly concerned. He even tried to help with the concussion test, holding up two fingers to see if Avila was seeing double.
SUAREZ STILL HOUR-TO-HOUR: Ausmus said that rookie shortstop Eugenio Suarez would have only played in an emergency Friday night, two days after injuring his knee in his major-league debut.
On Thursday, Ausmus still wasn't ready to put a timeframe on Suarez's return, and with Kevin Romine also nursing a bad shoulder, the Tigers were ready to make a roster move on Friday if needed. However, both players had improved enough by game time that Hernan Perez stayed in Toledo, at least for the time being.
"We were going to stay away from using him tonight if it were at all possible," Ausmus said. "Like I said earlier today, he's hour-to-hour at this point. We'll check him again tomorrow and go from there."