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Detroit Tigers Links: First day of Spring Training 2013 is in the books & the Cleveland Indians' free agent signings

The first day of Spring Training finished yesterday in Lakeland, Jim Leyland wants to keep the fifth starter competition low-key, and will the recent free agent signings from the Cleveland Indians cure their struggles? These stories and more in today's Morning Prowl.


Baseball is back. All is right with the world. Thank you and goodnight.

From Bruce Rondon to Melvin Mercedes, five Detroit Tigers pitchers to watch during spring training, Chris Iott

There are not many openings on the pitching staff for the Detroit Tigers, but there are a handful of pitchers to keep an eye on.

Tigers' Jim Leyland hoping to keep the fifth starter competition low-key
The Detroit News, Tom Gage

Right-hander Rick Porcello and left-hander Drew Smyly will be battling for the fifth spot in the Tigers' starting rotation. Porcello has 48 wins in four MLB seasons, but Smyly was solid as a rookie in 2012.

Tigers' Victor Martinez just has that look in his eye in Lakeland
Detroit Free Press, Jeff Seidel

Early this morning, Victor Martinez strapped a knee brace on his left leg and put on his Tigers uniform for the first time in more than a year.

Day 1: Rondon starts off camp firing
Beck's Blog, Jason Beck

It took one day of spring training for Jim Leyland to put a cutoff on Bruce Rondon evaluations. As he put it, he’s not going to give daily updates on where Rondon stands.

What We Talk About When We Talk About a Justin Verlander Contract Extension
Walkoff Woodward, Josh Worn

Frankly, I can’t think of any reason why Justin Verlander and the Detroit Tigers shouldn’t marry themselves together for the next decade or two.

Justin Verlander's WBC Choice a Wise One
Motor City Bengals, Matt Pelc

Justin Verlander's decision to pass on participating in the World Baseball Classic is a wise decision--at least to Detroit Tigers' fans.

Detroit Tigers Survivor Wiki

Detroit Tigers Survivor was an imaginary version of the Survivor reality game show created by noted part-time lazy TigerSnark blogger, Scott Rogowski.

The world’s largest baseball card (Photos)
Big League Stew, Mike Oz

And just like that, your big baseball card collection feels inferior. Topps unveiled the world's largest baseball card today in Florida, near the Detroit Tigers spring training camp.

Will free agents Swisher and Bourn cure what ails Tribe?
Baseball Nation, Rob Neyer

Last season, the Indians didn't do much pitching or hitting, and lost 94 games. After signing free agents Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn, the hitting should be better anyway.

Josh Hamilton is in The Best Shape of His Life
HardballTalk, Aaron Gleeman

Josh Hamilton has a new team and a $125 million contract AND he's the newest addition to the ever-expanding "Best Shape of His Life" roster.

Mariners will be this year's surprise team
SweetSpot Blog, Eric Karabell

In the fantasy baseball world, everyone wants to know if Mike Trout can repeat his amazing 2012 performance.