Will interleague affect Alex Avila, others? 

June, 17, 2011
6/17/11
3:19
PM ET
Detroit Tigers catcher Alex Avila has never played a big league game over at third base, but according to manager Jim Leyland, this bit of information is hardly a deterrent. There's a first time for everything, right? Avila did play some at the hot corner in college (at Alabama), and is expected to start there Friday at Coors Field. Ah, I love interleague play. (That's not sarcasm, either.) Alex Avila gets to stay in the lineup, the Philadelphia Phillies and other NL teams can improve their defense by moving a Ryan Howard or Prince Fielder type of defender to DH, while DHs such as Billy Butler and Vladimir Guerrero might have to be bench options.

Eight American League squads head to National League parks this weekend, and some of those teams either won't be coming home anytime soon or have pending road dates this month. The Kansas City Royals, for example, stay in Missouri and meet the St. Louis Cardinals starting Friday, then come home for a pair of series and finish up their interleague run with road series in San Diego and Colorado. Butler is, needless to say, not a preferred fantasy option for the next two weeks. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Angels play their next three series in pitcher-friendly NL parks (Citi Field, Sun Life Stadium and Dodger Stadium). At least Bobby Abreu can play the outfield.

[+] EnlargeAlex Avila
Brace Hemmelgarn/US PresswireAlex Avila will toss aside the "tools of ignorance" and don an infielder's glove Friday.
But the Avila story remains one of my favorites because I like Leyland thinking outside the box here. Avila is my catcher in multiple leagues, currently tops at his position on the Player Rater, and his colleague Victor Martinez happens to rank second. The Tigers can't sit first baseman Miguel Cabrera so ... Avila gives third base a try. I love it. Hopefully he'll perform better than Albert Pujols at the position -- he has an .824 fielding percentage there in six games -- as he slogs his way to achieving 10 game-eligibility. Could Avila get third base eligibility first? That would be nice!

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