Alex Ávila: “I’ve been fortunate to play on some very good teams.”

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By Yusseff Díaz

Alex Ávila has had a very solid career and is a very underappreciated catcher, especially in the way he handles pitching. During his 13 year career he has been an all-star and also won a silver slugger.

Ávila was a catalyst behind the plate during the Cy Young seasons of Justin Verlander (2011) and Max Scherzer (2013). The backstop is nicknamed the “Titanium Catcher” for his unusual durability.

Although the native of Hialeah, Fla has had plenty of solid seasons his 2011 campaign was arguably his most memorable. During that season not only was he Justin Verlander’s guiding light behind the plate that season, but he also hit .295 with 33 doubles , 19 homeruns and 82 runs batted in en route to the aforementioned all-star birth and silver slugger.

How have injuries impacted your season?

Well they have impacted my season plenty. There were a couple of COVID stints and then there was my calf injury that took a big chunk of my season. But hey you have to play the cards you are dealt.

Did the injuries impact your decision to retire?

No I was thinking about retiring before the injuries. It’s something I’ve been mulling over for the past couple of years, so it didn’t really have any impact on my decision.

Being a native of Miami how does it feel to play at home?

It feels great, hopefully I’m going to have a lot of people come to the game today and tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll also be able to get in there one last time in front of the home fans and my family. That would be very special for me.

You’ve had a storied career, been an all-star and are considered one of the best catchers of Cuban descent. How does that make you feel?

It makes me feel very proud, having my grandfather and my dad teach me the game is something special. Being involved in this game especially in South Florida and Latin America, plus the impact that my family has had and being able to carry on that tradition has been a dream and is something I’m also very proud of. You know hopefully this tradition continues, because I don’t plan on leaving the game anytime soon in other facets.

Any great memories from your playing days?

I have a lot great memories over the last 13 years. The one that I always go back and that probably isn’t a great memory is not being able to win a championship with those great Detroit teams. I always think about that, but I’ve had so many great memories. I’ve been fortunate to play with some very good teams and have had some very great teammates.

Any plans for after your retirement?

I plan to stay in the game and I don’t know how it’s going to play out, but I plan on being involved in some facet.

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