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.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.