Victor Martinez looks great, is ready to go for 2013

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I tend to put little stock in “Player X is feeling great, killing balls in the batting cage and ready to kick butt this year!” stories. Everyone is optimistic in spring training.

But maybe I should make an exception for those stories involving the Detroit Tigers.  Last year that was the buzz about Miguel Cabrera. He lost weight, got in shape, was dedicated and was killing balls in Lakeland. All he did was go on and win the Triple Crown and the MVP. Si or no, motherf****r?

With that in mind, Victor Martinez is healthy again and down in Lakeland. Tom Gage reports:

“Victor looks unbelievable,” McClendon said about Martinez, the Tigers’ designated hitter who missed all of last year because of left knee surgery. “I am really, really impressed with what I’ve seen.

“He’s in great shape, and he’s swinging the bat extremely well. A lot of zip, a lot of pop, it doesn’t look like he’s lost anything.”

Losing Delmon Young and adding Victor Martinez is gonna be a good, good thing for Detroit.

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.