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Detroit Tigers Links: Brennan Boesch's return & the end of 'April in the D'

Brennan Boesch returns from thumb surgery; Grady Sizemore gets injured ... again; and a look at Major League Baseball's "dirty little scheduling problem." These stories and more in today's Morning Prowl.

Tigers links:

Detroit OF Brennan Boesch back from injury, eager to contribute in powerful lineup -- The Washington Post
Boesch hasn't played in a game since last August due to an injury to his right thumb and a subsequent surgery to repair it. He's scheduled to bat second and play right field today in the Tigers first game of the spring. I, for one, am ecstatic to have him back.

Down on the Farm: Tigers Prospects at a Crossroads -- Motor City Bengals, James R. Chipman
On Wednesday, I linked to an article where Chipman looked at some potential sleeper prospects in the Tigers system. In this article, he looks at prospects whose rise to stardom is about to run out. Also check out Chipman's Q&A with Tigers prospect Casey Crosby, here.

Dirks Looks to Build on New-found Fame --, Chris Vannini
"Andy Dirks isn’t going to get a starting spot. With Austin Jackson, Brennan Boesch and Delmon Young penciled in as likely starters, there isn’t much room in the outfield. But with one Major League season under his belt, Dirks could be a big asset coming off the bench if he shines this spring in Lakeland."

Tigers’ Austin Jackson still trying to get comfortable in leadoff role -- Sporting News, Stan McNeal
Jackson will be a crucial part to making this lineup click. With Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder behind him, he has to figure out a way to get on base a lot more than he did last season. A return to the 2010 Jackson would be best-case scenario.

Thursday's Tigers postcard: Final verdict on Prince Fielder is 611 feet -- The Detroit News, Tom Gage
The verdict is in ... 611 feet is really, really far.

Tigers announce promotional schedule -- Out of Left Field, Matthew B. Mowery
Some of you might be interested in this. The Detroit Tigers have sent out a list of some of their in-stadium promotions for the season.

Baseball Gab: A Quick Chat with Tigers Left-Hander Pitcher, Adam Wilk -- Detroit Tigers Scorecard Blog, Austin Drake
Drake sat down with -- err, emailed with -- Detroit Tigers pitcher Adam Wilk. Wilk pitched just 13.1 innings in 2011, but has been in the discussions about possible fifth starters this season.

A Bittersweet Goodbye, An Unwelcome Hello -- April in the D
Let's have a moment of silence, everyone. It appears as if the "April in the D" song will not be renewed for the upcoming season. I know everyone is incredibly devastated. (Editor's note: YYYYAAAAAAAYYYY!!!)

Around the AL Central:

Slowing down the running game still starts with Pierzynski -- South Side Sox, Jim Margalus
"The White Sox are using the spring to try to keep opponents from running wild on them, but their options are limited."

Grady Sizemore out 8-12 weeks following back surgery -- HardballTalk, Aaron Gleeman
At what point is it OK to start feeling bad for someone, even if they are on a division rival? Because, Grady Sizemore has to be close to that point.

Salvador Perez And The Most Fascinating Contract In Baseball -- Baseball Nation, Grant Birsbee
"The Royals took an unconventional approach to locking up one of their players, signing Salvador Perez to a five-year deal six years before he was going to be a free agent."

Elsewhere in baseball:

Who consistently hit the longest home runs in 2011? -- The Hardball Times, Dan Lependorf
A former Tiger and current Tiger both made the list. Check it out.

Pitching in Coors- Part II -- Blake Street Bulletin, Brandon Cloud
Cloud takes an in-depth look at pitching at Coors Field and points out that fastballs are generally affected more than other pitches -- namely breaking balls. Cloud uses this to determine what kind of pitchers the Rockies should be targeting.

A.J. Burnett’s fractured face would still be OK if National League used a DH -- Big League Stew, David Brown
Brown uses the A.J. Burnett batting practice injury Wednesday to make his point on why both the American League and National League should be using a designated hitter.

Baseball's dirty little schedule problem -- SweetSpot Blog, David Schoenfield
After Buster Olney gave his opinion on which teams have the toughest early-season schedules, Schoenfield decided to take a deeper look at the problems Major League Baseball has with its scheduling process.