Some call Alex Avila "Titanium Catcher," but the truth is, he's not as invincible as he would like to be. Last season, Avila took a foul tip off his mask in Cleveland on Aug. 8. Initial tests didn't show a concussion, so he played Aug. 10 in New York. Avila then experienced headaches and nausea and went on the 7-day disabled list with a concussion. He ended up missing more than two weeks. New Tigers manager Brad Ausmus is a former catcher and understands the demands of the position. He's made it clear to Avila that he wants the truth about his health. "I actually did talk to him about this the other day," Ausmus said during TigerFest. "We have to make sure because the one thing I get concerned about -- and I learned this in San Diego with Nick Hundley because he had some concussions -- is that a lot of times, these guys won't tell you. "He's got to be honest with us. If he gets a foul tip and he's fuzzy, we need to know because we'd rather remove him for a week instead of losing him for two months." Avila, who turns 27 Wednesday, said his perspective has changed since he first came into the league. "I guess I've had to put down my stubbornness a little bit, especially last year," Avila said. "There's a lot of things now that I know what to look for, as far as if there are signs of concussions and things like that. "But I'm hoping that I won't have any more issues with that. I hope that'll be the case. But if something does happen, trust me, I've learned enough about it now that I have to say something. "As much as I want to be out there, I'm going to do whatever I can to stay out there as long as I'm healthy." Although Avila has had just one official concussion, he realizes there might have been more that weren't diagnosed.
Tigers' Titanium Catcher to play it smart
Fox Sports | Jan 28