How often does a New York Yankees cast-off end up making a big splash with another team? Well, actually fairly often…and Brandon Laird may be next in the lineage of those who were shunned in the Bronx to shine elsewhere. The Houston Astros will certainly take any help they can get.
Laird was claimed off waivers from the Yankees last September and through Thursday’s game was hitting .350 with five homers and 12 RBI in 42 Spring Training at-bats–including a 2-run dinger off Detroit Tigers ace, Justin Verlander. He’s listed as an infielder and has gotten reps at both first and third base. The Astros have some decisions to make before Opening Day, and Laird is making the infield/bench decisions for the team quite intriguing with his strong Spring.
Laird has never been on an opening day roster in his short career, and only saw action in 22 games with the Yankees. He desperately wants to break camp on that 40-man roster.
“That’s what I play for,” he said. “To make the team out of spring is something I’ve always looked forward to. With the Yankees, it was kind of tough over there. I’ve been here and there’s a lot of opportunity, and whatever happens, happens, and I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully in the next week or two, we’ll find out.”
Laird appeared in 17 games for the Astros last year, hitting .257 with a homer and four RBI. With their move to the American League this year, the Astros are looking to shake things up and shed the loser image that has been draped over the team for the last few seasons.
Putting young, hungry players like Laird on your roster who do whatever is asked of them and come to play ever day is a good way to get that done.