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Like Stripes On the Fur Coat of a Tiger - 05/23

Could the cure for the Tigers' bullpen ills be... Troy Percival? He told the L.A. Times that he's begun to throw again, and isn't feeling any pain. (Actually, Ken Rosenthal talked to Percival's agent last week about this.) The Angels say they don't have a bullpen spot available for him. However, Tom Gage says the Tigers are interested. Percival still has a connection with the team, having purchased a suite for the Tigers' wives this season as thanks for the playoff share he was given last year. (via The Cutoff Man)

If the Tigers are going to upgrade from Sean Casey at first base, what's their best option? Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated thinks Troy Glaus or Todd Helton (somewhere, Mike McClary is smiling) are trades Dave Dombrowski should pursue. However, D-Town Baseball thinks the Tigers already have an alternative in their system that would be much cheaper, and possibly more productive. Baseball by Paul also chimes in with a response.

From the CoPa has quarterly grades for the Tigers, and checks on his pre-season Major League predictions. (I should take a peek at my picks. I bet they're not looking too good right now.)

Bryan Smith of Baseball Prospectus has been profiling each of the scouting directors in the major leagues. Yesterday, he covered the AL Central, which included the Detroit Tigers' David Chadd. Here's some of what Smith had to say about Chadd's draft strategy:

Strategy in a Nutshell: In his first draft with the Red Sox in 2002, Chadd chose high school players with seven of his first eight picks. Boston didn't sign two of the seven; the other five counted Jon Lester and Brandon Moss among them. Despite that relative success in a draft without a first-round pick, Chadd then became a "Moneyball" believer. Since 2002, Chadd has chosen two high schoolers in the first five rounds; one was a hit (Cameron Maybin), the other a miss (Mickey Hall). The Tigers have allowed Chadd to choose the best player available regardless of price in the last two drafts, a productive strategy given how much Andrew Miller and Maybin are already being counted on to augment Detroit's future. This was a significant change from his time in the Red Sox organization, when Boston didn't have first-round picks in two of Chadd's three seasons at the helm.

Jonathan Papelbon is listed as the best player Chadd has produced, while with the Red Sox from 2002 to 2004. Cameron Maybin is his best prospect currently in the minors.

Former A's pitcher Dave Stewart takes a look at the Cleveland Indians at his "Throwin' Heat" blog, and breaks down how they've managed to keep first place in the AL Central.

Is Jose Mesa the new Fernando Vina? That is but one of several thoughts my main man Doug Hill has posted over at The Daily Fungo.

And this has nothing to do with the Tigers, but if you want to catch some more baseball in the metro Detroit area during the rest of this week, the Big Ten Conference Tournament begins in Ann Arbor this afternoon. How does total immersion in college baseball sound? Big Ten Hardball will practically be living at Fisher Stadium from now until Saturday (or Sunday, if necessary) and has posted one hell of a preview.