He wasn't in the lineup for Wednesday's victory despite a right-hander starting for the Indians.

He also won't be in the lineup Thursday when the Twins start left-hander Scott Diamond at Comerica Park.

With Alex Avila hitting .174, is this the beginning of a switch to Brayan Pena as the regular Tigers catcher?

"I don't want to indicate that Alex isn't our catcher," manager Jim Leyland said. "He is our catcher."

But Leyland left no doubt he's concerned about Avila's struggles at the plate.

"He just has to keep plugging away," Leyland said. "But we have to get him going.

"I know he's a tough kid, so that's a big plus. As a manager, you always search to see if there's something you can do to help someone along, but he's aware he has to do it himself."

Avila knows that. Teammates and the coaching staff wish him well, but turning it around is up to him.

"At this level, it's always more of a mental battle than physical, or something with mechanics," he said. "The thing for me is to not try to get 10 hits in one at-bat.

"As much as I'd like to turn it around with 10 hits in my next 12 at-bats, it's very unrealistic. What's realistic is to concentrate on each at-bat, trusting that eventually the results will come. What results? I don't know."

Something more rewarding than the current results.

"You want to be there for him as support," Leyland said. "And you certainly feel badly for him. But he somehow has to get through it."