Gerald Laird had to be helped off the field after injuring his left knee in a collision with Don Kelly during today’s game.
For now he’s been diagnosed with a sprain, but Tigers reporters watching in person described it as an ugly looking injury and Laird is expected to undergo an MRI exam.
Alex Avila is entrenched as the Tigers’ starting catcher and plays often enough that Laird’s role would be minimal even if healthy, but after losing Victor Martinez to a season-ending knee injury of his own Detroit will be very thin behind the plate if Laird is out for an extended period.
Omir Santos, who was just demoted to Triple-A, could be used to replace Laird.
The Red Sox-Yankees game scheduled for this afternoon has been moved to this evening because of weather, but there are still happenings in the Bronx: the Yankees have called up top pitching prospect Justus Sheffield.
Sheffield, 22, is the Yankees’ highest-ranked prospect, per MLB Pipeline. The lefty was acquired in the Andrew Miller deal back in 2016. In 2018 he made the jump from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre with a cumulative 7-6 record in 20 starts and a 2.87 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 through 116 innings.
The Yankees reportedly plan is to keep Sheffield in the bullpen for the time being, with his late season shift to a relief role at Scranton designed to get him used to helping out for the Yankees stretch run and, possibly, a playoff run. He’ll likely have a shot at the Yankees’ rotation next spring.