Yoenis Cespedes update, Detroit Tigers prospects, and Alex Avila season speculation: Morning Prowl

Despite their lack of speed on the base paths, should the Tigers -- specifically Austin Jackson -- try to steal more bases this season?

Pitchers and catchers countdown: 9 days

Walkoff Wonders: Just How Slow Are the Tigers? -- Walkoff Woodward, Josh Worn
We all know the Tigers have some "husky" guys. At least that's what Lynn Henning tells us. But does that mean Detroit can't steal bases with the best of 'em? Well, yeah, it kinda does. But maybe it's not such a terrible thing.

Tigers tight-lipped on Yoenis Cespedes, but confirm he didn't visit Detroit -- The Detroit News, Tony Paul
The Yoenis Cespedes saga continues. Rumor has it that he could leave the U.S. by the weekend, which means the Miami Marlins will have most likely been the only team to have met with him.

Pressing Questions: The Detroit Tigers -- Yahoo! Sports, Scott Pianowski
Pianowski answers questions on Detroit's options in the infield and outfield, and whether Jose Valverde will have another "perfect" season.

Detroit Tigers rank No. 24 in MLB farm systems by ESPN.com -- MLive.com, James Schmehl
*Cue The Jeffersons theme song* The Detroit Tigers finished No. 24 on the list of top 30 MLB farm systems. Last year they ranked No. 25. The good news is, I'm not sure anyone should take this too seriously. And if you read the link below, you'll figure out why.

Detroit Tigers' roster leaves little reason to worry about farm system -- MLive.com, Justin Rogers
"The Tigers boast a roster of talented players under 30, which lessens the concern about depth in the farm system." Nicely said.

Position preview: catcher -- EAT EM UP TIGERS
A breakdown of catcher Alex Avila and what the Tigers have in store in 2012 in that position. The big question is: Can Avila have the same kind of season as last year? I think he can. But Jim Leyland needs to figure out a way to not run him quite as ragged as last season.

Platooning the DH Position Would Work Fine, as Long as the Tigers are Smart about it -- The Tigers Den, Matt Snyder
I like this notion a lot, actually. Though the idea of having Ryan Raburn and Delmon Young as regular DH alternates makes me a wee bit queasy.

If necessary, Tigers have ability to put good defensive team on field | The Detroit News -- detroitnews.com, Tom Gage
"The give-and-take for the Tigers is they're electing to put offense over defense -- but doing so with a safety-net awareness of having better defensive players they can turn to at several positions if needed." I, however, think Miguel Cabrera is going to turn a lot of heads at third base. No, seriously.

Detroit Tigers' Nick Castellanos, Jacob Turner named to ESPN.com's top 100 prospects -- MLive.com, James Schmehl
Who said we didn't have any good position players in the farm system? We have ... one.

The latest incarnation of Justin Verlander -- Roar of the Tigers, Samara Pearlstein
#JustinVerlander #Ninja #Awesome

Tigers statues getting cosmetic work -- Beck's Blog, Jason Beck
The Comerica Park ceramic tigers get a face-lift. About time.

Playing devil's advocate: Why each team in the AL Central could pose a threat to Detroit Tigers -- MLive.com, Justin Rogers
For all you optimists out there, Justin Rogers wants to bring you back down to reality for a quick sec. Here's a look at a few reasons why the Tigers maybe should be worrying about their competition.

Around the AL Central:

Spring Training Preview: American League Central -- MLB - Sporting News, Stan McNeal
A spring training preview? I promise it's not as boring as it sounds.

Ubaldo Jimenez could be difference-maker for Indians this season -- MLB - Sporting News, Stan McNeal
That's funny. They said the same thing last year.

Prime 9: A.L. Breakout Players for 2012 -- Motor City Bengals, John Verburg
Verburg looks at one player from each position around the American League that he thinks might have a breakout season. Do you guys agree? Who might you add?

Elsewhere in baseball:

Baseball Hall of Fame to begin drug education program -- ESPN
"The Baseball Hall of Fame is starting a drug education program for students and young adults -- in the same year Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Sammy Sosa will appear on the ballot for the first time after careers tainted by steroid accusations." They say it's not a coincidence. I'm not sure I buy it.

MLB star pitched on cocaine -- Fox Sports
"Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd revealed he pitched under the influence of cocaine for about two-thirds of his major league career." I'm guessing he wasn't the only one.

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