Alex Avila C DET 19 Hrs

Avila will start at first base Friday against the Blue Jays, reports.

Avila has only appeared in one career game at first base, but the Tigers will give him a shot with the goal of having a few backup options in case Miguel Cabrera is not ready by Opening Day. When asked about Avila's prospects of manning first base, manager Brad Ausmus did not sound overly optimistic. "I hope (the idea) does go out the window, quite frankly," Ausmus said. "Even if Miggy plays or we get cold weather, there's a chance his ankle gets grumpy, so it's just an insurance policy." Avila will bat second in the order Friday, as he competes with a number of other players - Andrew Romine, Hernan Perez, Tyler Collins - for a backup first base spot.

Alex Avila C DET 10 Days

Avila was given the day of rest Tuesday, but will return to the lineup Wednesday, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports.

Over the past two weeks, Avila has been in and out of the lineup with a sore back, but he returned to the lineup Monday. He will be catching and hitting sixth Wednesday. Avila batted .218 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI over 390 at-bats last season.

Alex Avila C DET 11 Days

Avila (back) is returning to the starting lineup Monday, James Schmehl of reports.

With three weeks to go before Opening Day, Avila should be ready to roll by the time the games begin to count. It's fair to question how much of a workload he'll be able to shoulder, especially since the Tigers have a viable young catcher positioned as a backup this season with James McCann.

Alex Avila C DET 15 Days

Avila (back) is scheduled to catch Friday in Orlando, James Schmehl of MLive Media Group reports.

Avila had been dealing with some mild back soreness earlier in the week, but manager Brad Ausmus dismissed concerns that the ailment was overly serious. Avila's scheduled activity Friday reaffirms that notion.

Alex Avila C DET 16 Days

Avila (back) will not play in Thursday's spring training game, James Schmehl of reports.

Avila was removed from Wednesday's spring training game with lower-back stiffness, the second back issue he's experienced this spring. Manager Brad Ausmus indicated that he's not overly concerned with the latest ailment, so Avila will likely return to the lineup without missing too much time.

Alex Avila C DET 16 Days

Avila left Wednesday's spring training game with lower-back stiffness.

Avila has had some back issues earlier in spring training, and it appears they resurfaced Wednesday. While he should be considered day-to-day for now, it's a bit concerning that the issues have occurred multiple times, and his situation should be monitored.

Alex Avila C DET 26 Days

Manager Brad Ausmus indicated that Avila (back) will get some work in at first base Monday morning, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports.

Avila has been sidelined with the back issue for the early part of spring training, but he'll finally get in some work Monday at first base. He doesn't project to play the position during the season, but with Miguel Cabrera and Victor Marinez both currently dealing with issues, Avila will take a lighter route in his return to the field Monday before progressing to duties behind the plate.

Alex Avila C DET 27 Days

Avila was held out of workouts for a second straight day Saturday due to a back issue but is expected to return Sunday, Chris Iott of reports.

Avila's back tightened up a bit Friday but he reported feeling better Saturday, and manager Brad Ausmus said that he would be "shocked" if the 28-year-old isn't back on the field Sunday. The skipper recently said he is considering Avila for the No. 2 spot in the batting order.

Alex Avila C DET 1 Month

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus is considering Avila for the No. 2 spot in the lineup, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports.

The departure of Torii Hunter this offseason opened up a spot in front of Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez in the lineup. Since the Tigers lack a prototypical leadoff candidate, Ian Kinsler is the best bet to handle that role against righties, but Avila's historical on-base tendencies could give him the upper hand in claiming a valuable spot in the batting order this spring.

Alex Avila C DET 2 Months

Avila (concussion) confirmed Thursday that he has been cleared for all physical activity and will not have any restrictions at the start of spring training, reports.

There was some speculation after Avila suffered a concussion in Game 3 of the ALDS, his second concussion in as many months, that the 27-year-old could be forced into early retirement. However, he said that "never even crossed my mind." Avila has fully recovered from his latest round of concussions, but he said he plans to switch to a hockey-style catcher's mask next season in an attempt to prevent any more head injuries. He appears in line to open the year as the Tigers' primary catcher, but could slip into a platoon if James McCann fares well in spring training.