Updated: Laird leaves game with left hamstring cramping
UPDATE: The Tigers optioned Luke Putkonen back to Toledo to make room for Jacob Turner in time for his start Thursday, but they held off on activating Alex Avila until they can assess Laird in the morning. If he’s good enough to serve as a backup catcher, the Tigers will likely option Bryan Holaday to Toledo. If Laird is going to miss anything more than a day or two, don’t be surprised if he ends up on the 15-day DL.
“He’ll be re-evaluated tomorrow. We’ll see what we have to do,” Leyland said. “It’s obviously pretty simple: Holaday will either stay and Laird will go on the DL, or Holaday will go down and Alex will be here and Gerald will be backing him up.”
Just as the Tigers were readying to get back to full strength at catcher with Alex Avila’s return, the injury bug has struck again. This time, it again hit Gerald Laird, who left Wednesday’s game against the Cardinals with what the team termed as left hamstring cramping.
Laird is listed as day-to-day.
Laird missed time earlier this month with a strained right hamstring when he tried to hustle out an infield hit. This time, he seemingly injured himself tagging up from first base on a fly ball to center field. He grabbed at the back of his leg afterwards, prompting head athletic trainer Kevin Rand to emerge from the dugout.
Laird limped back to the clubhouse almost immediately. Bryan Holaday pinch-ran for him, then replaced him at catcher for the sixth inning.
The Tigers are expected to have Avila back for Thursday’s series finale, so they’re covered. However, they’ll have to decide whether they can afford to option Holaday back to Triple-A Toledo to open a spot for Avila, as had been previously expected. Avila went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.
If the Tigers send out Holaday, they could have Avila as their only healthy catcher, with utility player Don Kelly as an emergency backup. But they also have limited options for sending out other players. Ryan Raburn reached the five-year mark in Major League service time on Wednesday, earning him the right to decline an option to the minor leagues. Danny Worth had been splitting time at second base before ceding more starts to Ramon Santiago lately.