Results tagged ‘ Gerald Laird ’

Avila could see minimal stay on DL

Alex Avila went on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday afternoon, and sounded Wednesday night like he doesn’t expect to be on the DL much longer than that. Asked how long he should need for recovery, Avila’s answer was pretty short.

“The doctor said 10-14 days,” he said.

The MRI exam taken after Tuesday’s game showed the injury was “a little bit worse than I thought it was,” Avila said, but still nothing worse than a strain. That’s huge news for the Tigers, who will have Bryan Holaday handling the duties behind the plate for the next few days until Gerald Laird can return.

Avila will not travel with the Tigers on their upcoming road trip to Cincinnati and Chicago.

“When you go on the DL you have no choice [but to sit and heal],” he said. “That’s the bottom line right there. You’ve got to take that time, get healthy and take it from there. In this game you’re going to play with injuries, and some nagging ones, but there are some that you just can’t play with. Obviously I’ve dealt with injuries and things like that the past few years, but some things don’t allow you to be productive or allow you to play at a level you can be proud of every day.”

Laird leaves with left knee sprain

Tigers backup catcher Gerald Laird left Friday’s game against the Orioles with what the team called a left knee sprain after colliding with first baseman Don Kelly on a pop-up.

Laird will be re-evaluated on Saturday, according to the team. He’ll be evaluated on a day-to-day basis from there, but Laird said he should be ready to go again in a couple days.

“It’s all right, right now,” he said. “It feels fine. My biggest goal is to be healthy for the season. I’m just glad I can make the season. Being a catcher, I don’t want to mess with the knees.”

The injury happened in the second inning with the Tigers holding a 3-0 lead. Starting pitcher Duane Below had walked the bases loaded before inducing a high pop-up from Jai Miller.

The ball went almost straight up, leaving Laird just a few steps to camp under it. With a sunny sky over Ed Smith Stadium, however, Don Kelly kept tracking it. Laird said he called for the ball, but that Kelly didn’t hear him.

Kelly continued to chase it until the last second. When he tried to duck away, he ran into Laird’s left knee as Laird made the catch.

Laird held onto the ball as he tumbled to the ground, but he immediately clutched at his knee right afterward. Head athletic trainer Kevin Rand came out of the dugout to attend to him, and helped him off along with non-roster infielder Brandon Douglas. Laird was seemingly unable to put weight on his left leg.

“When I first felt it, it was something I didn’t feel before,” Laird said, “so I was kind of a little nervous more than anything. I’ve never had a knee injury. I was more nervous than anything. And then after a while I started getting the feeling back in my knee, and it felt better.”

The move came hours after the Tigers sent insurance catcher Omir Santos to minor-league camp for an expected starting role at Triple-A Toledo. Detroit can recall him in case of injury, but he would have to be placed on the 40-man roster to do so.

That no longer appears necessary.

“I’m fine,” Laird said. “It’s just a little sore, but that’s about it.”

Tigers finalize 1-year deal with Gerald Laird

The deal is done, reportedly at $1 million, the same money Laird got with St. Louis last year.

“Gerald is a veteran catcher that is familiar with both our pitching staff and organization,” Tigers President, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager David Dombrowski said. “As a right-handed hitter, he is the solid
complement to Alex Avila as our backup catcher for the 2012 season.”

Tigers, Laird reportedly close to a reunion

The Tigers’ search for a catcher to back up All-Star Alex Avila is apparently leading them back to the catcher who mentored Avila when he first reached the big leagues.

When Gerald Laird and the Tigers parted ways a year ago, Laird was looking for playing time. He ended up as a little-used backup to Yadier Molina in St. Louis this year, but now appears headed back to Detroit. reports that Laird is close to a deal that would return him to Detroit.

Laird fits the profile of what the Tigers are looking for in a backup. He’s a right-handed hitter with a good amount of experience, good defense and calls a good game. He brings the added bonus of experience working with Tigers pitchers, including Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello for two years.

Laird was the Tigers’ primary catcher in 2009, having been acquired from Texas in a trade for prospects that included Guillermo Moscoso. He batted .225 with four homers and 33 RBIs in 135 games that year for a team that came within a tiebreaker of the AL Central title and had Avila as a late-season call-up. Laird and Avila split time catching in 2010, but Avila got the bulk of the starts down the stretch.

A reunion at this point makes sense. The Tigers went through last year with Victor Martinez backing up Avila, but now don’t want the wear and tear on their designated hitter as he approaches his 33rd birthday next month. Laird hit the market looking for playing time last year, but is now at the stage of his career where he’ll find better opportunities as a No. 2.

Laird leaves game with bruised left shoulder

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.

Carlos Guillen still sore, could be done for year

Nearly three weeks after Brett Gardner slid into Carlos Guillen’s left knee, Guillen said the soreness is just as bad as it was before, as is the pinching pain he gets when he moves around sometimes.

“Maybe worse,” he said.

It’s a bad sign, obviously, and it puts his potential return this season in question.

Though Guillen said he’s walking better than he had been, he said the knee still restricts him from doing much more than that. That basically puts him in a holding pattern right now, limiting him to basic rehab activities.

Guillen will visit with team physician Dr. Stephen Lemos in the coming days. That exam might include another MRI.

“That’ll probably be something we’ll look at as we go forward,” head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Monday morning.

They’re not looking at his return anytime soon. And with four weeks left in the season, there’s a growing possibility that he’s done for the year. Leyland said he didn’t know whether Guillen would be back this season, and Guillen didn’t sound confident in his situation either.

“At this point right now, obviously we’ve got to get his knee to the point where he has no soreness,” Leyland said. “Once we get to that point, then we can increase his activity. But at the pace it’s going right now, we might run out of time.”

Other injury updates:

  • Armando Galarraga said his elbow issues were different than normal pitching soreness, he said he was feeling better today. He doesn’t believe he’ll miss any starts because of it once he gets some treatment on it. Still, manager Jim Leyland indicated the Tigers could make one more September call-up because of it, certainly if it lingers. Coincidentally, Andy Oliver threw a side session at Triple-A Toledo Sunday after making his last start of the season for the Mud Hens Friday.
  • Gerald Laird is still out with back issues. He’s going to get treatment Monday and Tuesday for the goal of playing Wednesday against White Sox lefty John Danks.
  • Ryan Raburn is better today after what appears to be a case of food poisoning Sunday. He fell ill just before game time and stayed that way until the problem lifted overnight.
  • Ryan Strieby underwent a CT scan Sunday and has an appointment coming up with hand specialist Dr. Thomas Graham. There’s a real possibility he could recommend another surgery on Strieby’s ailing left wrist, which has sidelined him since the end of July. If that happens, obviously, he’ll miss the Arizona Fall League for a second straight year.

Monday: Tigers vs. White Sox

First the injury roundup: Ryan Raburn is not in the lineup today, but he said he’s feeling much better after coming down with what he suspects was food poisoning Sunday morning. He said the illness finally lifted overnight. Gerald Laird is not available; his back is still out of alignment. He’s hoping to be back to play against White Sox lefty John Danks Wednesday night.

Other than that, it’s a pretty standard lineup. Note that Scott Sizemore is NOT available today. He is indeed being called up, as reported last night, but the move won’t be official until tomorrow.


  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Rhymes, 2B
  3. Damon, DH
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Kelly, LF
  6. Inge, 3B
  7. Boesch, RF
  8. Avila, C
  9. Santiago, SS

P: Max Scherzer


  1. Juan Pierre, LF
  2. Omar Vizquel, SS
  3. Carlos Quentin, RF
  4. Manny Ramirez, DH
  5. Mark Teahen, 3B
  6. Andruw Jones, CF
  7. A.J. Pierzynski, C
  8. Mark Kotsay, 1B
  9. Gordon Beckham, 2B

P: Edwin Jackson

Tuesday: Tigers at Twins

Good to be back on the beat in Minnesota, where the air is sticky tonight and the clouds are threatening but the worst weather so far is staying to the south and east. Should be able to get in tonight’s game on time.

Tigers still don’t have Gerald Laird available, but he’s feeling pretty good and hopes to be back tomorrow for lefty Francisco Liriano. Alex Avila gets his fourth straight start behind the plate.


  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Rhymes, 2B
  3. Raburn, LF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Peralta, SS
  6. Inge, 3B
  7. Damon, DH
  8. Wells, RF
  9. Avila, C

P: Armando Galarraga


  1. Denard Span, CF
  2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
  3. Joe Mauer, C
  4. Jason Kubel, RF
  5. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
  6. Delmon Young, DH
  7. Danny Valencia, 3B
  8. Jason Repko, LF
  9. J.J. Hardy, SS

P: Brian Duensing

Tuesday (back to work): Tigers at Mets

By now, you’ve probably heard the pitching move: Andy Oliver will make his big league debut Friday at Atlanta. Until then, the Tigers will have an eight-man bullpen with Jay Sborz, whom manager Jim Leyland said will be sent down after Thursday’s game to make room on the roster for Oliver.

As for tonight, you’ll notice the new No. 2 hitter, at least for tonight. With no DH slot, Johnny Damon out of the lineup and rookie Danny Worth at short, Gerald Laird gets the start in the two spot. It’s basically a situation where Jim Leyland doesn’t want to tinker with his lineup, at least with Guillen in the six spot and Brandon Inge batting seventh. And he didn’t want to put the rookie Worth up near the top at this point.


  1. Jackson, CF
  2. Laird, C
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Boesch, LF
  6. Guillen, 2B
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Worth, SS
  9. Verlander, P


  1. Jose Reyes, SS
  2. Angel Pagan, CF
  3. David Wright, 3B
  4. Ike Davis, 1B
  5. Jason Bay, LF
  6. Rod Barajas, C
  7. Jeff Francoeur, RF
  8. Ruben Tejada, 2B
  9. Jonathon Niese, P

Awkward moment ahead Wednesday

Once the Tigers and Indians get underway Thursday afternoon, Tigers catcher Gerald Laird will be squatting behind the plate to catch pitches from Rick Porcello. Jim Joyce will be calling balls and strikes.

And the words they exchanged Wednesday night over Joyce’s blown call will have to be history. That explains in part why it was awkward for Laird to discuss the call.

“I was really upset,” Laird said. “I mean, a lot of us were. You’re talking 20 in history? You’re talking history. It’s only happened 20 times and this game’s been played forever. I didn’t know what to say. I felt like I wanted to get sick, honestly. And I know Jim is a great umpire and he’s a great guy. I know no one feels as bad than he does right now when he looks at the replay. He has a lot of respect from all the players, and it was just tough to watch.”

He did not have a lot of respect in those moments Wednesday night, especially once the game finally ended. It was one of the few one-hit performance that ended with boos, as Tigers fans directed their frustration towards Joyce. He was busy, though, dealing with Tigers players Laird and Jeremy Bonderman, who were shouting at him while infield coach Rafael Belliard tried to keep them separated. Manager Jim Leyland eventually joined in.

“We probably were a little bit out of line, I’d say,” Laird said. “At the time, I’m sure he thought he made the right call. But when he goes back and looks at it, he’s going to see. It’s just more out of frustration and wanting it so bad for your teammate. That’s all it is when some of us get on him.

I’ve got all the respect in the world for Jim Joyce. He’s a great umpire. He’s always been. I’ve always had a good relationship with him. I think it’s just more the heat of the moment. That’s why we were getting on him. You just want it so bad, something of that caliber for your teammate. To be able to say you were a part of it as a teammate, to be part of a perfect game, is remarkable. And I think that’s all it was, when guys were getting on him. We were just frustrated. We know their job’s hard. But he’s our teammate and we back him and we feel bad for him.”

Laird does not expect the sore feelings to carry over.

“It won’t. It’s a new day,” Laird said. “If anyone is going to be all right, it’s going to be Jim. I’m sure he’s already looked at it and it’s on his mind. I’m just going to go back there and do the best I can for Ricky [Porcello]. I mean, I can’t go back there and be frustrated about yesterday’s game. It’s over with. Obviously we got a good boost from Galarraga tonight to get us going. We just gotta continue to roll. My job tomorrow is to go back there and catch and do the best I can. I’m definitely going to be talking to him. I talk to all the umpires. I’m sure he’s going to be the same way.”