March 31, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Three former University of Alabama baseball players opened the 2014 season on Major League Baseball opening day rosters. Former Crimson Tide standouts Alex Avila (Detroit Tigers), David Robertson (New York Yankees) and Tommy Hunter (Baltimore Orioles) begin the 2014 MLB season on the 25-man rosters for their respective clubs.
Alex Avila returns to the Tigers for his sixth season, after helping Detroit advance to the 2013 ALCS. In 102 games with the Tigers last season, Avila hit .227 with 11 home runs and 47 RBI.
David Robertson returns for his seventh season in the New York Yankees bullpen and enters this year as the team’s closer. In six MLB seasons with the Yankees, Robertson has appeared in 339 games, totaling 329 innings pitched. He has a 21-14 overall record with a 2.76 ERA with eight saves and 428 strikeouts in his career in Yankee pinstripes.
Tommy Hunter also returns for his seventh MLB season and third with Baltimore, where he was recently named the Orioles’ closer. In two years in Baltimore, Hunter has appeared in 113 games, starting 31 times, posting a 16-16 record with a 4.57 ERA. Last season he made 68 appearances out of the bullpen, posting a 6-5 record with four saves and a 2.81 ERA. In six MLB season, Hunter has made 166 appearances totaling more than 550 innings pitched. He has a 39-29 record and a 4.47 ERA in his career.
Former Alabama players Josh Rutledge, Jimmy Nelson and Kent Matthes will open the 2014 MLB season on their team’s 40-man roster and start the season in Triple A. Josh Rutledge will open the year in Colorado Springs, Colo., the AAA affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, after starting the 2013 season and playing 88 games for the Rockies last season. A late season call-up with the Milwaukee Brewers in 2013, RHP Jimmy Nelson will open the 2014 season at Triple-A Nashville. Kent Matthes made the Oakland Athletics 40-man roster after being signed by the team in March, and will open the season in Sacramento, Calif.