Laird leaves with lower back spasms

Tigers catcher Gerald Laird left Saturday’s game against the Astros in the first inning and is day-to-day with lower back spasms after coming out from behind home plate to corral a ball in the dirt.

Laird had to spring out from his crouch to get to Tigers starter Alfredo Figaro’s breaking ball in the dirt on an 0-1 pitch to Carlos Lee. He walked out towards the mound to talk with Figaro, but eventually hunched over in front the mound as manager Jim Leyland and head athletic trainer Kevin Rand emerged from the Tigers dugout.

Laird was walking around, but in obvious discomfort, and was moving slowly as he walked back into the dugout and towards the clubhouse. He was replaced by Dusty Ryan, who was called up last weekend from Triple-A Toledo to help spell Laird and provide some more days off to keep him from wearing down.

Rand attended to Laird during Friday’s series opener against the Astros, too, after Laird took a ball in the groin area. Laird stayed in the game.

Laird entered Saturday batting .233 on the season with three home runs and 17 RBIs in 62 games. He has thrown out 14 of 38 would-be basestealers this season, good for a 36.8 percent rate.

7 Comments

pitiful looking at bats by the Tigers hitters. I called it. This guy has a 6 plus era and I knew they wouldn’t be able to hit him.
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Did you just hear that 115 walks from Tigers pitchers in the month of June. Figaro is not impressing that much tonight.
It is going to be a long night I think.

I didn’t see any of the game- only heard a couple innings on the radio. Can’t help but wonder if Santiago had been left in last night- maybe he could have homered when it mattered.
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I do have to question leaving Figaro in- JL must have figured his guys weren’t going to hit anyways, so save the bullpen for tomorrow.
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Don’t like Gerald being hurt. He’s not a big bat, but he’s a big reason the Tigers pitching does so well (most nights).
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Hope we can turn it around for tomorrow. We can’t get swept after such a great homestand, can we?
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-Tracey

Well, that was pretty horrible.
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Any chance we had was pretty much nil after Laird had to leave. I’m not happy with Ryan catching, and too many curveballs were thrown by Figaro/Ryan. It was just as well to leave the kid in, though, rather than waste pitchers in a game that was gone.
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The Tigers really don’t hit all that well, so it’s not surprising when they get shut down. They have a reputation as a good hitting team, but they’re not really.
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Seems to me that putting Miner in the rotation would eliminate the need for him in the pen. He’d certainly go deeper into games than any rookie we call up, and that in itself would save work for the pen. I don’t know, maybe that only makes sense to me. Just seems that four strong starters are better than three, especially when one is already a 20-year old rookie on a limited workload. JL is so stubborn with this issue.
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That was a really poorly executed rundown. It was embarrassing, actually. I’ve had kids teams that could do it better. And why didn’t Inge just flip it to Kelly at the end of it, instead of diving after Bourn like a defensive back who was beat on the play? They looked absolutely silly. Hope that doesn’t end up in the highlights, though it might make one of those top 50 shows.
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–Rich

I’ve wanted Miner to start all year but I think JL likes him too much in the pen to eat up innings. You’ve gotta think at some point he’ll end up in the starting rotation but after they brought up Figaro I have my doubts.

Need to win these series against sub-.500 teams going into the Alll-Star break. If I remember right Minnesota is the only team around .500 that we play before the break and it would help to pad the record up for the second half, especially since we always slump in August.

I just hope that when ( and he will eventually be forced to) JlL gives Miner a shot at the rotation he gives him as many chances as he gave Willis and as many as he is likely to give to Figaro.
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At the risk of being accused of spying in the clubhouse, I do “think” JL is not a huge supprter of Zach. Personal observation only.
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Figaro does not impress me. He kinda looks like he has been cloned from dolsi-who also does not impress me.
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Inge and Granderson are suddenly inclined to former bad habits at the plate.
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I bet there have been a lot more 3 hitters thrown at us than for us this year.
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JL will give Figaro another go and if we are lucky he pitches lousy again and we come back and win one in the 9th. Maybe that way we won’t have to endure a 4th start. Not sure how much he can improve his 2.00 WHIP up here in the BIGS.
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DD will surprise us at the trading table this year. No one in their right mind would take Nate but I have a feeling Ordonez and/or Zumaya may end up elsewhere. Ordonez’s contract notwithstanding.
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Fearless Prediction: Dusty is gonna have a big day tomorrow and EJ shows the fans what the term “stopper” means.
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Must admit I am a little envious of the Astros’ leadoff CFer. That kid is raking and exudes confidence. Curtis has ebbed back to the “no confidence” mode that he seems to regularly slip into. That is one area of his game that seems undeveloped–one can only wonder how good he could be if he had it.
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I’ve just had a disturbing thought—with a day off on Thursday after the Oakland series, do you think it is possible JL is entertaining thoughts of throwing Nate at the A’s and taking advantage of being able to give JV 2 more days of rest and then start him off against the Twins?
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The A’s have a couple of power LHB in Cust and Giambi and maybe even Kennedy. I’m just a little worried since we have seen so very little of Nate lately. No–take that back–that is not a possibility.
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Is it?
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Gettin tired otf the “double switch”. Very peculiar to flip Santiago (a switch hitter) in then summarily replace him for the RHB Raburn. I mean if he wanted Raburn he could hav eswapped him into play 2B just as easily. Seemed like a wasted roster move.
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The Tigers really have to stabilize this bullpen. They can’t wait forever for Zumaya to realize his potential. They can’t continue to hide Nate’s salary issue out there as it only destabilizes the pen. Envy struck again as I salivated over the numbers and performance of that Astro bullpen in comparison to ours. They have 5 guys out there who have ERAs under 3 with over 15 IP. That’s a pretty nice situation.
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Does anyone else here think we will be seeing Lucas French again relatively soon?

Terrible game to watch. I’m hopful Ryan will do a good job today and I know I’m in the minority, but I still like Dane as a catcher. Maybe I’ll get used to seeing Dusty, and I hope I do, but Dane just seemed like a better defensive catcher and called a better game. Prove me wrong, Dusty!

Well what is worrisome is that today we are really getting their pitcher that has been on role. Looking at his numbers he has a 1.75 era in the month of June (some of it appears to be in relief), but he has been on a role. The two pitchers, mostly the guy last night is someone they should of been able to hit. Some of the guys have seen him before and have numbers against him in a limited fashion. Except for Cabby and he has had no luck against him in 13 at bats. So I don’t have a good feeling about today, although I hope that I am wrong.
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GK

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