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Detroit Tigers Links: Alex Avila is slumping & would baseball be better without playoffs?

Alex Avila isn't fazed by his struggles at the plate, Ryan Raburn is on fire, and Joe Posnanski ponders life without the MLB playoffs (sort of). These stories and more in today's Morning Prowl.

Leon Halip

Tigers catcher Alex Avila remains unfazed by slump at plate
The Detroit News, Terry Foster
Avila has four walks to six strikeouts over the past two weeks, which is a positive sign. He seems to be seeing the ball better. As we have seen with Victor Martinez, the bat will come around.

Detroit Tigers' Avisail Garcia optioned to Triple-A Toledo after being activated from 15-day DL
MLive, James Schmehl

"Garcia hit .417 with nine runs, two triples, a home run, four RBIs, four walks and two stolen bases in six games during his rehab assignment in Lakeland. He went 7-for-9 (.778) with a home run and three RBIs in his last two games."

Kenny Faulk Gets the Short End of the Stick
Motor City Bengals, Chris Hannum
It's hard to argue against Ortega's debut yesterday, and the Tigers already have a couple of lefties in the pen. They should be fine.

Tigers' Miguel Cabrera chasing all-time great hitters
Detroit Free Press, John Lowe
Yeah, he's pretty good.

The Detroit Tigers Fan's Guide to the 2013 Houston Astros

"Team Strength: Low expectations. Team Weakness: You name it."

Detroit Tigers Offense Starting to Growl
Baseball Hot Corner, Jon Erkkila
Suddenly, Scott Diamond.

Around the AL Central:

ZOUNDS! Royals Come Back To Win!
Royals Review, Clark Fosler
Stupid Rays.

White Sox 5, Rangers 2: Chris Sale holds off Texas until homers arrive
South Side Sox, Jim Margalus
Stupid Rangers.

MLB Final Score: Cleveland Indians 6, Philadelphia Phillies 0
Let's Go Tribe
Ryan Raburn is 12-for-14 with four home runs, nine RBI, and five runs scored since Sunday.


Final Thoughts: Twins 6, Tigers 2
Twinkie Town
Optimism is blooming in Minneapolis earlier than the flowers are.

Elsewhere in Baseball:

Would MLB, like EPL, be better without playoffs?
NBC Sports, Joe Posnanski

"Playoffs speak to us. They are not everyday games. They are extraordinary. They are pressure packed. They are television extravaganzas. They are important, hugely important, draped with Roman numerals. They give us heroes and goats, the thrills and the agonies in Costco-sized packages."

Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper Injury Update: Bad Bruise From Collision With Wall Last Night; Harper Leaves Game W/ Braves Early
Federal Baseball, Patrick Reddington
While I'm not looking forward to him terrorizing Tigers pitching next week, I'm glad this isn't an oblique strain.

Will Baseball outlaw the marathons?
Baseball Nation, Rob Neyer
This cannot happen.