Holaday dusts off his old third baseman skills

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Lakeland, Fla. —  Maybe the folks who remember him terrorizing sandlot and high school baseball in Dallas wouldn’t have looked twice, but it was a little startling to see Bryan Holaday playing third base for the final three innings Friday.

“I played there growing up,” he said. “That was my position. I just want to get on the field. I am willing to do anything.”

Holaday, the team’s No. 3 catcher, has been taking some reps at third base this spring and there didn’t appear to be any rust on Friday. He had one chance, a hard-hit ball by Deibinson Romero, that he snagged and then made a strong throw to first.

Bryan Holaday was drafted in 2010 and flew through the Tigers' system.

It’s not like the Tigers have a lack of depth at third — Nick Castellanos starts and utility players Andrew Romine and Mike Aviles can also play there.

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“As much as it’s an option for us, I think down the road it can be a bigger option for Bryan Holaday,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “His value as a player goes up if he can play multiple position with catching being his primary position.”

Holaday has also “messed around,” as he put it, in left field this spring, but his chances of playing out there ended with the signings of Aviles and Justin Upton.

About his one play, Holaday shrugged, “It looked like I knew what I was doing, so, that’s good.”

Holaday also doubled in his only at-bat. He is 4-for-5 this spring with a grand slam and two doubles.