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Detroit Tigers Links: Justin Verlander Is Improving & Alex Avila Is Resting More In 2012

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AL Central Standings

W L PCT GB STRK
Cleveland 25 18 .581 0 Won 2
Chicago 22 22 .500 3.5 Won 1
Detroit 20 23 .465 5 Lost 2
Kansas City 17 26 .395 8 Lost 2
Minnesota 15 28 .348 10 Lost 1

(updated 5.23.2012 at 11:17 PM EDT)


Justin Verlander is really good, Alex Avila is resting more, and Josh Hamilton almost runs through a wall. These stories and some not-so-subtle digs at the bandwagon jumpers in today's Morning Prowl.

Better Than Last Year, Justin Verlander Mocks Impossible - Motor City Bengals, Garret Craig
"As I type this, Verlander’s BABIP has not regressed. Instead, it has fallen from .236 all the way to .219—since 1918, only 11 pitchers have qualified for the ERA title in a season with a BABIP under .219. As a result, his current ERA, FIP, and xFIP would all be career-bests if he could somehow sustain them."

Detroit Tigers' Jim Leyland trying to find 'perfect' spots to rest catcher Alex Avila - MLive, James Schmehl
If nothing else, I like that Leyland is making a concerted effort to keep Avila healthy for the entire season.

One of Tigers' rising stars at catcher could fetch needed second baseman - The Detroit News, Lynn Henning
Henning is basically championing what we've been saying for a little while, but the fact remains that there just aren't any good 2nd basemen available right now.

How To Vastly Improve "Tigers Weekly" - DesigNate Robertson
"But does anyone watching a show called "Tigers Weekly" really care about say, some little league team in a Detroit suburb? No." I'd quote more, but we're a bit more family friendly than Rogo is.

Daniel Schlereth Injury: MRI Reveals No Structural Damage - SB Nation Detroit, Matt Brigidi
This is good news, right?

The Not All-Detroit Tigers Team of the Last 20 Years: Hitters - The Tigers Den, Matt Snyder
There are a lot more mentions of the Jim Leyland era on this list than I would have expected.

.gif | Quintin Berry’s Bunt Double - Walkoff Woodward, Rob Rogacki
I'm trying to brainwash myself into thinking that this is the only play that happened last night.

Getting And Not Getting The Calls - Baseball Nation, Jeff Sullivan
I get it now. Apparently last night, Jerry Meals was just making up for the Indians' bad luck so far this year in getting balls and strikes called correctly.

Around the AL Central:

Game 43: Indians 4, Tigers 2 - Let's Go Tribe
"Now that the Indians have already won the series, facing Justin Verlander tomorrow feels like playing with house money."

Yankees and Will Smith Ruin Will Smith's Debut - Royals Review, Jeff Zimmerman
Unfortunately, this is not the Will Smith that I was hoping for.

White Sox 6, Twins 0: Sale leads way back to .500 - South Side Sox, Jim Margalus
"Given a day to shake off the sorrow, the Sox simply out-talented the Twins. They didn't play their best game -- they grounded into way too many double plays -- but they still won handily."

Jake Peavy on the AL vs. NL - The Jim Rome Show
Peavy thinks that the American League is a lot deeper, but still prefers the NL because he gets to hit. The fact that he gets to face a pitcher doesn't hurt either.

Elsewhere in Baseball:

What do we know in Major Leagues as Memorial Day nears? - MLB.com, Peter Gammons
"'Most of us have no idea what we're going to look like until the middle of July,' said Orioles manager Buck Showalter. 'I know we don't.'" Emphasis mine.

Is Lance Berkman a Hall of Famer? - HardballTalk, Craig Calcaterra
No.

The tragedy of expectations in baseball - The Hardball Times, Chris Lund
"The problem with these disappointments in the middle of May is just that. We are in the middle of May. The character is secondary to the plot, and we've barely scratched its surface. There are plenty of great players and teams who look primed for their fall, but it is impossible to know for some time yet."

Josh Hamilton makes great catch, destroys part of fence at Safeco Field - Big League Stew, David Brown
He's no Rodney McCray, but Hamilton definitely hit that wall hard.