Tigers activate Alex Avila from DL, lose backup Gerald Laird to hamstring injury

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Alex Avila missed the minimum 15 days on the disabled list and is now back on the Tigers’ active roster after being sidelined by a hamstring injury.

His return comes at a good time, as the Tigers lost backup Gerald Laird to a hamstring injury yesterday after relying on him to do most of the catching in Avila’s absence.

Avila went 3-for-7 on a brief minor-league rehab assignment at Triple-A. He was hitting .250 with five homers and a .766 OPS in 44 games before being shut down, which presented a 45-point drop in batting average and 130-point drop in OPS compared to his breakout 2011 season.

Laird came into the season as a career .242 hitter, but batted .302 in limited action.

Dodgers feel optimistic about Corey Seager’s return in the World Series

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The Dodgers pulled through the five-game Championship Series without Corey Seager, but they’re counting down the days until their prized slugger/shortstop can make his first World Series appearance. He still has a ways to go before he can return to the field, however. Bill Plunkett of the OC Register reports that while Seager has been hitting off a tee, taking soft toss and running the curves of the infield, he’ll need to practice hitting in a simulated game before he can rejoin the team next Tuesday.

The 23-year-old infielder went 3-for-15 with a triple and two RBI in the NLDS earlier this month. He was sidelined in Game 3 of the series after making a bad slide into second base and sustaining a lower back strain. Although he’s made fairly rapid progress in his recovery over the last two weeks, he’s not back at 100% just yet, and Roberts said he won’t make a final decision on his status until it gets closer to game time. Even if Seager makes a successful return to his starting position, the Dodgers may not get the same .295/.375/.479 hitter they relied on during the regular season.

Provided that everything goes smoothly over the next two days, though, there’s a decent chance Seager will find his way to the infield — or, at the very least, to the plate. “We’re very optimistic,” Roberts said Saturday. “Corey doesn’t want to be denied.”