Avila at Third? Not All That Uncommon in Tigers History

Tonight Alex Avila is the Tigers’ starting third baseman in the opener of a three-game series in Denver against the Rockies.

Avila’s never played third in the majors but he’s not the first Tigers player to be pressed into action there. Did you know that Al Kaline appeared in two games at third during his career?

In 1961, he played a full nine innings at third, fielding a pair of chances cleanly, with a putout and an assist. Four years later he played 5.1 innings of a game with three chances, two putouts and an assist.

Johnny Wockenfuss, who played mostly at first, catcher and in the outfield, became even more of a utility man for Sparky Anderson when he played … parts of two games – all of 2.1 innings – at third base but never saw any action.

Like Kaline, in 1965 Willie Horton played third but outlasted him be two-thirds of an inning. In one game he played six innings, fielded two chances and earned an assist on both.

Others taking a turn at the hot corner include:

  • Mickey Stanley: 18 games over two seasons (1975 and ’76), 61 chances, 13 putouts, 46 assists and two errors
  • Alan Trammell: 43 games in two seasons (1993, ’96), 100 chances, 26 putouts, 69 assists, five errors
  • Ty Cobb: 1 game in 1918, two chances, with an assist and a putout.
  • Charlie Gehringer: 6 error-free games (and 26 chances) in 1926 for The Mechanical Man

I’m looking forward to this experiment. Having Avila’s bat in the lineup is huge and having him at third, well, can’t be any worse than Ryan Raburn.

What do you think?

Tigers Today: September 13, 2010

PickOffSmall.jpgTigers’ Record:

72-72, 3rd Place; 13.5 GB

Today’s Game

Off Day

Yesterday’s Results

Tigers 6 – Orioles 2

Continue reading “Tigers Today: September 13, 2010”

Tigers Today: August 27, 2010

BehindHomePlate.jpgTigers’ Record:

64-64, 3rd Place; 9.5 GB

Today’s Game

Tigers @ Blue Jays | 7:07 p.m. ET – Rogers Center | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Justin Verlander (14-8, 3.65 ERA) vs. Shaun Marcum (11-7, 3.70 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Tigers 7 – Blue Jays 1

Continue reading “Tigers Today: August 27, 2010”

Tigers Today: June 21, 2010

Tigers’ Record:

38-30, 2nd place; 1.5 GB of Minnesota

Tomorrow’s Game

Tigers @ Mets | 7:10 p.m. ET – Citi Field | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Justin Verlander (8-4, 3.54 ERA) vs. LHP Jonathon Niese (4-2, 3.64 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Tigers 3 – Diamondbacks 1 | Fungo Recap

Continue reading “Tigers Today: June 21, 2010”

Tigers Today: June 12, 2010

Tigers’ Record:

31-29, 2nd place, 4.5 GB of Minnesota

Today’s Game

Tigers vs. Pirates | 7:05 p.m. ET – Comerica Park | On the air: FSD/AM 1270 and 97.1 FM

Pitching Matchup

Jeremy Bonderman (2-4, 4.40 ERA) vs. LHP Paul Maholm (4-4, 3.80 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Tigers 6 – Pirates 2

Continue reading “Tigers Today: June 12, 2010”

Tigers Today: April 12, 2010

BehindHomePlate.jpg

Tigers’ Record: 5-1

Today’s Game

Tigers vs. Royals | 1:05 p.m. ET – Comerica Park | On the air: FSD/1270 & 97.1

Pitching Matchup

Max Scherzer (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. Luke Hochevar (0-0, 0.00 ERA)

Yesterday’s Results

Tigers 9 – Indians 8

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Tigers Today: April 7, 2010

5:44 p.m. ET: Updated with Tigers lineup

BehindHomePlate.jpg

Tigers’ Record: 1-0; Tied for 1st

Today’s Game

Tigers @ Royals | 8:10 ET — Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City | On the air: FSD (Joined in Progress at 10 p.m.)/AM 1270

Pitching Matchup

Max Scherzer, 0-0 0.00 ERA vs. Luke Hochevar, 0-0 0.00 ERA

From the Game Notes: Tonight Scherzer is making his second career start at Kauffman Stadium. He earned the win in his previous outing, limiting the Royals to two runs in six innings of work.

Tonight’s Lineup

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Johnny Damon, LF
  3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Carlos Guillen, DH
  6. Brandon Inge, 3B
  7. Alex Avila, C
  8. Scott Sizemore, 2B
  9. Ramon Santiago, SS

Continue reading “Tigers Today: April 7, 2010”