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Duane Below's contract, Willie Horton's opinion, and the underperformance of MLB's third basemen: Morning Prowl

Could Duane Below earn the job as the fifth starter in the Tigers rotation?
Could Duane Below earn the job as the fifth starter in the Tigers rotation?

Four days ...

Detroit Tigers agree on one-year contracts with Duane Below, five other players --, James Schmehl
Good news for a few of Detriot's young guns. Duane Below and Casey Crosby are among seven Tigers to get one-year contracts yesterday. Both are expected to compete for the fifth spot in the rotation.

Tigers left-handers get an early start -- The Detroit News, Lynn Henning
The main thing I love about this article is how excited it gets me for Sunday. When I read about players starting to arrive at their respective spring training facilities, I get all warm and fuzzy inside.

Do Royals Have The Rotation To Compete With Tigers? -- Baseball Nation, Rob Neyer
Signing free agent Roy Oswalt to a short-term contract makes a lot of sense for the Royals, in my opinion. But it doesn't look they have any desire to make a deal. And while relying on young talent can be rewarding, it's also incredibly risky.

Serendipity could propel the Detroit Tigers to a magical championship season -- Through The Fence Baseball, Jed Rogney
"If we’re all sitting around our TVs in late October watching the Detroit Tigers celebrate their World Series championship, it won’t just be that so-and-so pitched great or just that so-and-so hit a lot home runs or just that the team played great defense. It will also be because of Victor Martinez’s sudden injury, Prince Fielder’s surprise signing and a thousand other "lucky" things that needed to happen." Umm, OK. It might also have a little to do with talent. But, whatever. We can agree to disagree.

Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera named top third baseman heading into 2012 season by MLB Network --, Justin Rogers
I really feel like I'm beating a dead horse with this one, but if you put aside his offensive assault last season, Cabrera was wicked impressive at first base. And trust me, I know the hot corner is completely different, but I think a lot of people are going to be surprised by his quickness and hopefully new found agility on the field.

Tigers great Willie Horton wants to see Cecil, Prince Fielder mend fences -- The Detroit News, Terry Foster
I love Willie Horton, and I have no doubt he feels very strongly about this particular topic. Heck, he's not in the least bit wrong about what he's saying. I'm just not sure Cecil or Prince care what he thinks. And I'm not really sure it's his place to try to play therapist.

Tigers to hold tryout camp March 5 -- Beck's Blog, Jason Beck
C'mon, you know you guys are tempted. Heck, I'm tempted. And I hear the fifth spot in the rotation is up for grabs.

Around the AL central:

Chicago White Sox sign Kosuke Fukudome -- Call to the Pen, Joe Soriano
Probably not the most exciting acquisition if you're a White Sox fan, but also probably not the least exciting.

Inside the numbers: Indians lineup could be strong in 2012 -- Indians Prospect Insider, Charlie Adams
Adams plays the hypothetical game, and projects what the Indians lineup could look like. Surprisingly, the outcome is not terrible.

Royals Rotation Projections -- Royals Review, Scott McKinney
Another breakdown of the Royals young rotation and how it might shape up this season.

Elsewhere around baseball:

Anthony Castrovince: Phillies, Angels rank best among baseball's top 10 rotations --, Anthony Castrovince
Castovince ranks the leagues top rotations, with the Tigers coming in at the seven spot. I actually agree with him completely. He says beyond Verlander, Detroit was inconsistent, and the bottom of the rotation was largely unreliable. Having Doug Fister for a full season will surely help there, but we still need consistency from Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello.

The Ten Worst Swings Of The 2011 Season -- Baseball Nation, Jeff Sullivan
Because who doesn't want to look at a bunch of grown men look incredibly goofy at their professional craft.

Adam Wainwright, Johan Santana among injured aces returning --, Will Carroll
"Last year, five of the best pitchers in baseball missed huge chunks of the season. Let's take a look at how their comebacks are going and what to expect from them when they return."

Rays sign manager Joe Maddon to three-year extension --, Bill Chastain
The Rays are a lucky, lucky team. That's all I'm going to say about that.

Where have all the third basemen gone? -- SweetSpot Blog, David Schoenfield
With the predicament the Tigers have been in the past few season -- finding a steady third baseball who will contribute every game -- this article only seems fighting. And I think it's a question a lot of teams have been asking as of late.