There is no question Gerald Laird is a very good defensive catcher. Offensively, he was challenged in 2009. He got more than 400 PAs for just the second time in his career and his OPS+ was a dismal 64. Coincidentally, the other time he got more than 400 PAs, his OPS+ was 64. If nothing else he is consistent.
Hopefully, Laird can improve on his numbers this year. His OPS+ was above average two of the first three months of last season and took a significant tumble as the year went on. The bottom third of Detroit's lineup was a black hole the second half of last season: Brandon Inge's OPS+ for that stretch was 45, Laird's was 48 and Adam Everett's was 43.
It is unreasonable to expect much from Everett, but hopefully Inge is healthy after offseason knee surgery and Laird has improved his endurance. This team missed the postseason by a game even with one-third of the lineup failing to produce anywhere near average, much less above average, for nearly half the campaign. Even modest improvement could go a long way in 2010.