Mere hours after catcher Gerald Laird went down with right hamstring tightness, the same ailment struck fellow catcher Alex Avila.
“I really won’t be any good right now — at least today,” Avila said. “I can’t really move too well. I’m no stranger to playing with injuries or pain, so it definitely takes a lot to keep me out of the lineup.”
As manager Jim Leyland met with the media before Saturday’s nationally televised game on FOX, he was busy writing up a new lineup.
The new lineup had Omir Santos, the only healthy catcher on the roster, batting ninth. Emergency catcher Don Kelly was playing left field and batting eighth.
“I don’t have any players,” Leyland said. “I got one guy on the bench tonight — (Ramon) Santiago.
“If anyone gets hurt, I’m gonna have Eddie Faynor, the king and his court.”
Meanwhile, Austin Jackson remains on the 15-day disabled list, although he was eligible to come off of it Friday, and Andy Dirks had an MRI on his sore right Achilles Friday.
“Inflammation and something like that,” Dirks said about what the MRI revealed. “It’s pretty painful. It’s keeping me out of the games. I just don’t feel like I can run good. That’s the main thing right now.”
Dirks said he really started to feel the injury when the team was in Boston.
“I don’t know if it was because I was favoring my left leg for a while,” Dirks said. “It got sore but we were treating it and stuff, then the day in Boston, about halfway through the game, it just started barking worse and worse and worse, to where it was hurting jogging off and on the field.
“I was feeling it good, then jogging down to first, obviously, and running the bases and stuff, it was pretty painful. All we can do now is try to make it better.”
It’s a bit of a Catch-22 for the Tigers, who don’t want to put Laird, Avila and Dirks on the DL and lose them for two weeks, but they also can’t continue to play shorthanded much longer.
“I’ve never seen it within a week of each other, five or six guys that go down that play a lot,” Laird said. “It’s definitely frustrating.”
Laird remains convinced that he’ll be ready by Tuesday, the day after the Tigers have an off day.
“They told me not to run, just because they want to make sure I’m ready to go by Tuesday,” Laird said. “But honestly, it feels better than I thought it would.”
Dirks, on the other hand, doesn’t really know when he’ll be ready.
“It’s better than it was a couple days ago,” Dirks said. “As far as pain scale, I don’t know how to do that. But if it keeps you off the field, it’s keeping you off the field, so it’s hurting.”
So for now, the Tigers’ players and their lineup remain day to day.
SCHLERETH TO 60-DAY DL
In what is likely to be a related move with all the injuries, left-hander Daniel Schlereth was transferred from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL.