A Jake Fox backswing knocked Tigers catcher Gerald Laird out of Friday night’s game against the Orioles with a bruised left shoulder after three innings. His status for this weekend’s games wasn’t immediately known, meaning he might have played his final game as a Tiger.
Laird is a free agent at season’s end. The Tigers have committed to Alex Avila as their catcher next year — a platoon situation at the very least, and perhaps an everyday role. Laird has said he’ll move on to another club if he can find a situation with more playing time.
Laird was behind the plate for Tigers Rick Porcello in Friday’s doubleheader nightcap when Adam Jones tried to steal second. Fox swung and missed at Porcello’s pitch, but his backswing caught Laird on his left side as he stood up to try to throw out Jones. Home-plate umpire Phil Cuzzi sent Jones back to first by calling interference. Laird stayed in the game for a couple more innings, but his shoulder apparently swelled up on him. Alex Avila replaced him behind the plate for the fourth.