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Evening Prowl: St. Louis Heat, The Ubiquitous Kurt, the Market For Pedro, and Wilkin Ramirez's Value

With tonight's temperatures in St. Louis expected to hit the upper 90s, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Derrick Goold passes along a story Jim Leyland told him about losing 11 pounds while catching a doubleheader in the heat of Savannah, GA.

The revived It's Just Sports chatted with Kurt of Mack Avenue Tigers for their "Better Know a Blogger" series. What are his thoughts on blogging? How does Kurt balance his experience as a journalist with that? And who might he like to see take one of those back spots in the starting rotation? (Hint: he's currently a free agent.) Check it out.

Those hoping the Tigers might show interest in Pedro Martinez might be disappointed that Detroit is not among the four teams supposedly taking a look at him, according to both Gordon Edes and Ken Rosenthal. Martinez will throw for those teams tomorrow in the Dominican Republic.

Would the Tigers be better off using Wilkin Ramirez as a trade chip to bring in a big bat (Aubrey Huff or Luke Scott) for this season? Or would Ramirez provide the same benefit next year, if the Tigers held onto him? Jon Paul Morosi poses this query at

Newsday's Ken Davidoff breaks down the trade market for starting pitching, listing seven names who likely won't be available, and another five that might be.

If you were in last night's GameThread, you might remember that John dropped several random factoids (such as how often Detroit batters swing at the first pitch) about the Tigers' offensive ineptitude. He's collected those, along with several other troubling numbers (such as how many double plays the Tigers have hit into) at his blog, Hazaa.

Lynn Henning wonders why Leyland still hasn't been given a new contract, and suspects this hints at tensions between the Tigers manager and his boss, Dave Dombrowski. (That's something we heard from a couple of national baseball writers - Buster Olney and Jayson Stark, I believe - during the offseason.)

Speaking of Stark, he notes that Rick Porcello was the youngest pitcher to have a multi-hit game since a 20-year-old Steve Avery went 3-for-4 in 1991. He's the youngest AL pitcher to get two hits since 1971.

Always a Tiger mentions Eric Hinske as a low-cost option for some added offense. I have to admit, I had no idea he was playing for the Pirates until last weekend. BigJP cites his versatility and power as two appealing aspects. I also like that he has a lot of experience playing in the American League, and wouldn't have to make much of an adjustment.

Hinske hasn't played much this season, but has a .270/.393/.393 with one homer and 10 RBIs in 107 plate appearances.

Kurt's not done with us yet. He was also part of a four-blogger roundable at Bleacher Report, answering five questions that the Tigers will have to address this season.

What would Blake do if he was Mike Ilitch? Over at The Spot Starters, he lists six moves he'd like to see the Tigers' owner sign off on. (I was kind of hoping he'd have some Little Caesars suggestions, as well. New pizza toppings? Different styles? Shut down those dumb "Don't forget the sides!" commercials?)

Today's non-Tigers note: Did Raul Ibanez strain his left groin while getting indignant over that whole steroids, media-vs-blogger manufactured controversy last week? Or maybe he hurt himself finding some other substance from his body that could be tested to prove he's clean.