Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers Bench Update: Catchers

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Mar 8, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers catcher Bryan Holaday (50) runs to first after a hit against the Tampa Bay Rays during the second inning at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 8, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers catcher Bryan Holaday (50) runs to first after a hit against the Tampa Bay Rays during the second inning at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports /
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Spring Training continues for the Detroit Tigers. So far, that has meant more chances for catchers Bryan Holaday and Jarrod Saltalamacchia to impress– and impress they have, here’s a look at how the two have performed.

The Detroit Tigers continue to roll along in Spring Training. The team picked up a win against the Houston Astros by a 7-3 score line. Detroit collected 12 hits on a day when the offense thrived. One of the many stars for the Tigers was (again) catcher Bryan Holaday.

Holaday added two more hits to his spring haul. One of the two hits left the yard and was responsible for a pair of the Tigers runs. It was the backstop’s fourth dinger of Spring Training.

As it stands, Holaday is in the midst of a battle for the backup catcher job with new signing Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Detroit has three other catchers in camp not on the depth chart in Miguel Gonzalez, Kade Scivicque and Raffy Lopez, but only Holaday and Saltalamacchia are in contention for the right to serve as James McCann’s deputy.

So far, the completion has been a fierce one, with both players hitting well. Here’s a look at how they’ve fared so far.

Bryan Holaday

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Initially thought to be an afterthought to relatively new Saltalamacchia, Holaday has done anything but roll over and cede a roster spot. The catcher is hitting a blistering .600 entering Thursday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals. He’s also scored seven runs, and has brought it in the power department with four long balls and 11 runs driven in.

Holaday has reached base at least once in all but one game so far this spring. He has also collected a staggering 29 total bases.

In addition to tearing it up at the plate, Holaday is showing versatility in the field—seeing time at both third base and in left field. If he can continue to display that kind of defensive flexibility, it will go a long ways towards making Brad Ausmus’ team.

He has also played well behind the dish, flashing some solid pitch-framing skills in the win over the Astros. If he makes the team as a utility player, he’ll still provide value if called upon as a catcher.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

While he hasn’t hit at the blistering pace that Holaday has set, Saltalamacchia has shown well in his return to the American League. The catcher boasts an impressive .368 batting average in seven games.

What’s more, he has also flashed his trademark power, with two home runs and five RBI so far. In addition to the home runs, Salty also has collected three doubles, three runs scored, two walks and 16 total bases in 19 at-bats. His OPS is a stellar 1.271.

Only four of his seven starts have come behind the dish, with the other three coming as a designated hitter. In those four starts behind the plate, he’s held his own, allowing no stolen bases or passed balls.

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In Conclusion

It remains to be seen who will break camp with the Detroit Tigers as the team’s backup catcher, but either way, the team will be in good hands thanks to the productive springs of both Holaday and Saltalamacchia.

For more Detroit Tigers Analysis, check out our Detroit Tigers analysis hub page.

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