LAKELAND, Fla. — As catcher Alex Avila returns to the Detroit Tigers after spending last year with the Chicago White Sox, he will likely be the most popular reserve player on the roster.
While Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Avila will keep his old locker, the veteran’s uniform will sport a new number. During the first six years of his career with the Tigers, Avila’s jersey bore the number 13. Last year, with Avila gone, first base coach Omar Vizquel took the number. Vizquel wore 13 during his playing days.
Now that Avila has returned, Vizquel will keep 13, and Avila will wear 31. As Avila explained to Fenech, “It’s 13. Just flipped.”
It looks like fans of the veteran backstop will not be able to dust off their Avila jerseys and proudly wear them as the 2017 campaign begins.