TOLEDO, Ohio The first step in Alex Avila's return to the Detroit Tigers went without a hitch.
As planned, Avila caught lefty Andy Oliver for five innings, had two at-bats and ended his night without incident Monday in his first rehabilitation start for the Toledo Mud Hens.
"Just kind of what I expected as far as where I was at physically," Avila said. "Just trying to build up my stamina. From not doing anything for about a week and a half to catching and running, throwing, hitting, that kind of stuff, it kind of feels like spring training a little bit. First day, probably a little shocking to the body. But I feel really good."
Avila has been on the 15-day disabled list since June 6 with a right hamstring strain. He did not go on the Tigers' most recent road trip to Cincinnati and Chicago and only returned to baseball activity over the weekend.
Although he hated to go on the DL, Avila admits it was the right thing to do so the hamstring strain didn't recur.
"I didn't want to h...