Avila expects to go to disabled list after suffering hamstring injury

Alex Avila left Saturday’s game after the sixth inning with tightness in his right hamstring, and it looks like his ailment will prompt a roster move.

Manager Robin Ventura said Avila wasn’t moving well after the game and would need to be re-evaluated, but the man himself was less optimistic about the injury he said he suffered while running to second in the sixth.

“Very disappointing, a little frustrating,” Avila said, “I’ve been feeling great physically. I was really swinging the bat well and having some good ABs the last few games as well. It’s a little frustrating.”

Dioner Navarro came on for Avila, reached base in both of his trips to the plate and knocked a crucial RBI single through the infield in the eighth, but will now be pressed into full-time action for the time being. His multi-year TAv of .250 vs. right-handed pitching is serviceable from the catcher position, but he’s off to a slow start, hitting just .100/.129/.100 so far, even after a good game Saturday.

If Avila goes to the disabled list, a likely call up is Kevan Smith at Triple-A Charlotte. The 27-year-old has not reached the majors previously, and has consistently been old for his level after splitting time in college at Pittsburgh with football and starting rookie ball at age 23. He is off to a great start in Charlotte, hitting .345/.394/.586 through eight games, after hitting .260/.330/.370 there in 360 plate appearances in 2015. Over at Future Sox, they project Smith as a backup:

“He does have a strong arm for the position, and his athleticism hints at a higher defensive ceiling. He’s got good power, and has made good contact throughout the minors, though that power didn’t seem to be there in 2015. He’s got a bit of a hitch in his swing that means he’s not real quick to the ball, but he puts bat to ball effectively. Defensively he made improvements in 2015, and reports on his handling of pitchers are strongly positive.”

Read their full profile of Smith here.

Another, less exciting, more veteran and experienced possibility (though he’s actually younger than Smith) is Hector Sanchez. Sanchez is a career .240/.274/.345 hitter over parts of five MLB seasons.

The timetable for Avila’s injury, or if he will indeed need to got to the DL, is unknown.

Lead Photo Image: Kim Klement // USA Today Sports Images

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