Five former University of Alabama baseball players will be on Major League Baseball opening day rosters as the season gets underway on Monday. Former Crimson Tide standouts Alex Avila (Detroit Tigers), Josh Rutledge (Colorado Rockies), David Robertson (New York Yankees), Tommy Hunter (Baltimore Orioles) and Wade LeBlanc (Miami Marlins) will open the 2013 MLB season on the 25-man rosters for their respective clubs.
Alex Avila returns to the Tigers for his fifth season, after playing in the World Series last year. Avila enters the 2013 season with a career batting average of .261 with 40 home runs and 175 RBI in 390 games. Avila will be in the starting catcher and batting eighth in the Tigers order when they take the field against Minnesota tonight.
Josh Rutledge, who is entering his second MLB season and first on the opening day roster, will bat second and play second base for the Colorado Rockies in the season opener. In 73 games during the 2012 season, Rutledge hit .275 with eight home runs and 37 RBI as the Rockies' shortstop.
David Robertson will return for his sixth season as a setup man in the New York Yankees bullpen. In five seasons with the Yankees, Robertson has appeared in 269 games, totaling 262.2 innings pitched. He has a 16-13 overall record with five saves and 351 strikeouts.
Tommy Hunter returns for his sixth season and second with the Orioles. Hunter has a career record of 33-24 to go along with a 4.77 career ERA, while making 98 appearances with 75 starts, totaling 469.1 innings pitched.
Rounding out the Tide players on MLB rosters is Wade LeBlanc, who will open this season as the third starting pitcher on the Miami Marlins depth chart. In five MLB campaigns, LeBlanc has appeared in 79 games with 61 starts for a 19-27 overall record. He has a 4.38 career ERA with 248 strikeouts in 362.0 innings pitched entering the 2013 season.
INFORMATION SOURCE: University of Alabama Athletics