Bryan Holaday’s hot start in Spring Training could force Tigers into tough decision

We’ve only made it through the first week of Spring Training, but catcher Bryan Holaday is already heating up.

Holaday has six hits in his first eight at-bats, including three home runs. Two of those home runs came in Saturday’s loss to the Washington Nationals, with one coming off Stephen Strasburg. He has also recorded eight RBI’s in the four games he has played in.

“I was just seeing the ball good and getting pitches to hit and trying not to miss them,” he told the Detroit Free Press.

Holaday is out of minor league options, which is where the tough decision could lie for the Tigers. Veteran catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was brought in this off-season, and was widely expected to be a shoe-in for the backup catcher spot on the roster. If Holaday continues on his torrid pace, it would be hard to imagine the Tigers letting him walk. In order to be assigned to the minor leagues, he would have to clear waivers, which would unlikely considering the value of depth at the catcher position.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus gave him a chance to play third base during Friday’s game for the first time in his career, in an attempt to gauge his versatility.

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

While his future with the Tigers could be in limbo, Holaday is taking the challenge in stride.

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What are your thoughts, Nation? Is Holaday a better option than Saltalamacchia, or does experience win the race?

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