Gerald Laird #8
- Height: 6′ 1″ | Weight: 225
- 2008 Stats: .276 – 6 HR – 41 RBI
Before most general managers had checked into their Las Vegas hotel rooms at the Winter Meetings last December, the Tigers acquired catcher Gerald Laird to fill a gaping hole in their lineup. A career .255 hitter, Laird enjoyed one of his finest offensive seasons in 2008, hitting .276 with nine home runs and 41 RBI in 95 games for Texas.
Laird has shown a tendency to get off to a fast start at the plate, hitting over .300 in the first half of both â€™08 and â€™06, and as catchers often do, losing steam after the All Star Break. One can forgive Tigers fans that think of Laird as an offensive force: against the Tigers at Comerica Park last season he hit .571, but only .250 in all games against Detroit.
Looking ahead to 2009, Laird will need to lay off the curveball — and avoid chasing the low offerings — if he hopes to match last seasonâ€™s output. Watch for pitchers to throw inside on him where they had the most success in â€™08.