Should Jim Leyland Have Benched Alex Avila Against Sabathia?

For a left-handed-hitting catcher, Alex Avila has fared decently enough against left-handed pitchers, with a .263/.344/.409 career line against southpaws.

But counting tonight, he's faced CC Sabathia 10 times, and struck out six times.

And tonight, anyway, he's looked completely overmatched while striking out twice.

Jim Leyland has stacked his lineup with right-handed hitters against Sabathia, with Avila the only lefty swinger in the bunch. But Leyland could have gone all the way, playing Brandon Inge behind the plate instead of Avila, with switch-hitting Wilson Betemit playing third base instead of Inge.

I'm not saying Leyland should have done that. Avila might come up big against Sabathia, later.

But he could have done that.

Mea Culpa: I wasn't smart to remember (or check) Inge's recent history; he hasn't caught a game since 2008, so was hardly an option to replace Avila. The Tigers' lone backup catcher throughout the postseason is apparently Omir Santos, who played in only 11 games with Detroit all season, and can't hit at all. So it's Avila or bust.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.