Tigers hoping to start Laird against Reds

Tigers hoping to start Laird against Reds

DETROIT -- Among the Tigers slated to take early batting practice Friday afternoon in Cincinnati will be catcher Gerald Laird, who has been available on an emergency basis only since tweaking his right hamstring last Friday.

If Laird can get through early BP and running drills, manager Jim Leyland plans on starting him behind the plate in the Interleague series opener against the Reds.

"If he convinces me he's OK, then I'm going to play him," Leyland said. "But this has been a two-time thing with Gerald and the legs, so I'm being very cautious about it."

Bryan Holaday, just called up on Wednesday for his Major League debut, started again Thursday afternoon against the Indians. His parents, his brother and his sister were in town for his first Major League hit Wednesday after flying in from Texas, which made the moment all the more special for him.

Nonetheless, it's a makeshift situation for Leyland, who wants to get back to the catchers who have handled the pitching staff in Detroit for much of the year. He can't have Alex Avila, who's on the disabled list and will stay in Detroit for the upcoming trip to Cincinnati and Chicago, but he can have Laird once he gets over this hamstring.