Hamstring cramp forces Laird from game
After injury strikes in fifth inning, DL possibility for Tigers catcher
DETROIT -- 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 hit Gerald Laird, who left Wednesday's game against the Cardinals with left hamstring cramping.
Laird hurt himself in the fifth inning after tagging up from first base and sliding into second on a fly ball to center field. He felt the pain after bouncing up from his slide and signaled for the trainer as he immediately made his way off the field.
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said with how quickly the catcher came out, he thought it would require a stint on the disabled list. That hasn't been ruled out and the decision will be made in the morning, but Laird said he didn't believe it was that severe.
"I took an IV right now [and] it just feels like a knot in there right now," Laird said. "They said I should drink a lot of fluids tonight and see how it feels tomorrow. I don't think it's anything big."
The 32-year-old is batting .302 and has been the starting backstop in Avila's absence. He missed time earlier in the season with a strain to his right hamstring. The experience from dealing with that injury actually gave Laird a bit of relief.
"The other one I felt when I was running, and I can tell if I tweak it a little bit," Laird said. "This one I felt after I popped up from the slide so I think maybe from going down and up it kind of cramped up on me."
Leyland said prior to the game that there would be two roster moves made to open up spots on the 25-man roster for Jacob Turner and Avila. However, twice this season, moves have been held up due to injuries sustained during the game. Wednesday night marked the third time.
The Tigers did option relief pitcher Luke Putkonen back to Triple-A Toledo to bring up Turner. But the other move for Avila now must wait until the morning. Leyland did give the media an idea of what it would be, though.
"It's obviously pretty simple, [Bryan] 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," said the skipper.
Anthony Odoardi is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.