New catcher Avila to have big voice in D-backs clubhouse

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New D-backs catcher Alex Avila has voice for broadcasting. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) New D-backs catcher Alex Avila has voice for broadcasting. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Alex Avila spent most of his career with the Tigers, where he caught teammate Robbie Ray in 2014. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Alex Avila spent most of his career with the Tigers, where he caught teammate Robbie Ray in 2014. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Arizona Diamondbacks fans are in a minor state of mourning this week. 

With J.D. Martinez officially signing with the Red Sox, the D-backs are now forced to replace the biggest bat in their lineup during a 2017 playoff run.

[READ MORE: JD Martinez, Red Sox agree to $110M, 5-year deal]

The D-backs seem poised to replace Martinez by committee with A.J. Pollock, David Peralta, Jarrod Dyson, Yasmany Tomas and the newly-acquired Steven Souza all in the outfield.

[READ MORE: 3-team trade sends Drury to Yankees, Souza to Diamondbacks]

There are a number of new faces in the D-backs clubhouse, with new catcher Alex Avila set to have a big voice in 2018.

“Playing against them last year, you never felt comfortable, lineup or pitching staff,” said Avila, the nine-year vet. “You can tell it was a team trending in the right direction, young guys in the prime of their career. From the outside, it was an exciting team to watch. I’m glad I’m a part of it now.”

Avila spent the second half of last season with the Cubs. The majority of his time in the majors was spent with the Detroit Tigers, where his dad was the general manager. Avila helped the Tigers to four straight postseason appearances, catching ace Justin Verlander and a young Robbie Ray, who he’ll reunite with in Arizona.

[MORE: Arizona Diamondbacks stories]

“I caught Robbie as a rookie. He’s a much different pitcher now,” said Avila, who was Detroit’s starting catcher when Ray made his Major League debut in 2014. “Stuff looks really good coming out of his hand.”

“With Ianetta gone, I think he really fits in here perfectly,” said Ray, who went 1-4 in Arizona before being traded to Arizona in 2015 as part of the Didi Gregorius deal. “I have a relationship with Avila, really good catcher and good hitter, too.”

Avila will platoon with Jeff Mathis and Chris Herman. He has six weeks to learn the names of every D-backs pitcher and more importantly how they pitch.

“Essentially you’re going to focus on the guy you’re catching that day,” said Avila. “You don’t want to force anything. Things happen organically.”

If baseball doesn’t work out, Avila could have a career in broadcasting. His baritone boom is striking, and he was asked how much he gets offers to do voice-overs.

“All the time, all the time,” said Avila with a smile.

He’ll no doubt have a big voice in the D-backs clubhouse this season.

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