The future of Nick Castellanos; Jim Leyland's inevitable contract discussions; and Justin Verlander and Kate Upton film a new MLB 2K12 commercial. These stories and more in today's Morning Prowl.
Detroit Tigers fifth-starter candidate Q&A: Adam Wilk takes tips from ex-Tigers pitcher Kenny Rogers -- MLive.com, James Schmehl
"This is the first of six question-and-answer sessions with Detroit's fifth-starter candidates. The six-part series will run every day during the week of March 4."
With Miguel Cabrera at Third, Tigers Have Options With Prized-Prospect Nick Castellanos -- Detroit Tigers Scorecard Blog, Austin Drake
The situation surrounding top prospect Nick Castellanos has become a bit cloudy now that Miguel Cabrera has moved to third base. So, what should the Tigers do with the 20-year-old?
The Detroit-Cooperstown non-connection -- The Hardball Times, Chris Jaffe
Have you ever noticed that the 1984 Detroit Tigers don't have a single member in the Hall of Fame? Something, Jaffe says, is a bit of an anomaly.
Positional Power Rankings: Catcher -- FanGraphs Baseball, Eric Seidman
FanGraphs ranks teams by how they fare behind the plate -- looking at both the starting catcher and backups. The Detroit Tigers catching pair of Alex Avila and Gerald Laurd finished 9th. They could be higher, but like Seidman said, Avila needs to prove last season wasn't a fluke before they can do that.
Will Jim Leyland's Contract Be Extended? -- Motor City Bengals, Sam Genson
We all remember the last season chatter surrounding Jim Leyland and whether or not he would get a contract extension and whether or not he should. So, here we are again, one year later. We get to have the same discussion all over again. Weeeeee!
AL opponents bracing for Fielder's impact -- tigers.com, Jason Beck
I like these articles form Tigers.com because I can cover like five stories in one link. So here you'll find a piece on Fielder's impact (like we don't already know it), Matt Hoffman's bruised right knee, Brayan Villarreal's lessons from camp, and different ways the Tigers get their mitts into tip-top shape.
It's possible that I'm just the last person to know about anything, but there was apparantely a new Justin Verlander/Kate Upton commercial released for MLB 2K12 called "Welcome to the Perfect Club." I probably don't need to ask what you guys think of it. You can check it out after the jump.
Around the AL Central:
Gut Response: Are the Royals Better than the Indians? -- Royals Review
The Royals fan from yesterday needs to read this article. This is what's called perspective. Let's figure out if the Royals are better than the Indians before we talk about if they'll be playing in October.
The AL Central: Sizing Up the Competition -- DesigNate Robertson
"While annoying and stupid, there are four other teams in the AL Central along with the Tigers." Well said, Rogo. Nevertheless, it's important to closely examine each of these teams to see what they might have in store for Detroit in 2012.
Elsewhere in baseball:
A Brief and Highly Inaccurate History of the MLB Playoffs -- Twinkie Town, Jon Marthaler
"With baseball adding two more teams to the playoff picture, we take a factually incorrect look at how the ten-team playoffs came to be."
Marlins hitters already annoyed by the home run sculpture -- HardballTalk, Aaron Gleeman
Can we even call that a sculpture? That is an eyesore if I've ever seen one. Though it is funny to hear Marlins players going all Josh Hamilton (hey everyone, I'm gong to blame the sun for all of my offensive struggles) about the situation. To be fair, that thing is quite distracting. But is it worse than the fish tank?
Houston Astros Throwback Jerseys: Even Jim Crane Says They're Wrong -- Baseball Nation, Al Yellon
The Houston Astros -- once known as the Colt .45s -- are scheduled to wear throwback jerseys several times this season. Major League Baseball is requiring that the gun on the old uniforms be removed, and owner Jim Crane is unhappy about it. I think he has good reason to be. As Yellon says, "Denying that history is wrong, especially when supposed to be celebrating it."
Classy move: Joe Girardi spends time with the grieving parent of a well-known Yankees fan -- Big League Stew, Kevin Kaduk
I remember reading about this when it first happened, and it's just as tragic now as it was then. Stories like these certainly can't take away the pain that the family still feels, but it's heartwarming nonetheless.