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Lunchtime Prowl: Areas of Need, Pitching Instead of Hitting, Second Base Defense, and Detroit's Available Prospects

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So how would you rank the Tigers' needs, with the trade deadline three days away? I was chatting with a buddy of mine yesterday, and he saw it as "1A) Batter and 1B) Pitcher." I see it a bit differently, with a bat - especially an outfield bat - is solidly the top need.

Anyway, Mack Avenue Tigers looks at the Tigers' holes more closely, breaking down the areas of need by position. It's a long list, which makes you wonder how this team is in first place.

Danny Knobler might agree with my friend Rob, however, as he reports that Detroit might be more focused on adding a starting pitcher, now that Carlos Guillen has returned.

That's not quite what Dave Dombrowski told Jason Beck, however. And says the Tigers' GM has "remained aggressive" in pursuing a hitter.

If the Pirates' Freddy Sanchez is one of the players the Tigers are looking at to fill in for Brandon Inge at third base, they might have to consider that Sanchez is fighting his own knee injury right now.

John Lowe's report in today's Freep, however, says that getting a back-up catcher and reliever might be higher priorities. And as we mentioned yesterday, the Pirates have both to offer.

Also yesterday, Richard Durrett answered a few questions for us about the Texas Rangers. He quizzed me about the Tigers, as well, which you can read here.

At ESPN's Page 2, David Schoenfeld ranked 15 players who have the worst trade value, based primarily on their over-inflated contracts and less than impressive production. Do you think any Detroit Tigers might be on the list?

Baseball Digest Daily takes a look at the best defenders in each league this season, using Fangraphs' UZR/150 metric. Check out who's the best in the American League at second base.

Who exactly might the Tigers give up in any deadline deal? Eye of the Tigers lists 10 prospects, some of whom you may not have heard of, that could go the other way in exchange for any help Detroit picks up.

USA Today has an interesting article about how the increased flurry of trade rumors in the internet age has changed the job of general managers and the reporters who cover them. (At least no one directly blamed blogs.)

Baseball Digest Daily also put together a list of minor league pitchers aged 30-or-over who might be deserving of a shot in the majors this season. One of the players mentioned is Nate Bump, who's 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in four starts for Toledo.

Finally, if you're just dying to teach your kid how to throw a curveball, two new studies show that snapping off a curve at a young age might not damage their arms, after all.