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Detroit Tigers links: Spring training storylines, Al Alburquerque, and bad contracts

Can Al Alburquerque repeat his low walk rate in 2015? Are there any position battles going on in Lakeland this spring? What impact will Victor Martinez's injury have on the AL Central race? This and more in today's morning links.

Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

There are just seven (!) days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Cue freak

Detroit Tigers Top 5 Spring Training Story Lines - Motor City Bengals, Matt Pelc
There are several interesting topics surrounding this Tigers team as they head down to Lakeland next week.

Can We Believe in Alburquerque’s Walk Rate? - TigsTown, Neil Weinberg
Al Alburquerque was the Tigers' best reliever for large parts of the 2014 season. Neil examines Al Al's numbers to see if we can expect the same in 2015.

Three Tigers bracing for spring competition - The Detroit News, Chris McCosky
There aren't many position battles that will be going on in Tigers camp, but Chris found a few to watch out for

Ranking the teams: 18 through 13 - ESPN SweetSpot Blog, David Schoenfield
The Tigers are ranked 14th on ESPN's first "power rankings" of the season, right behind the Chicago Cubs.

The Best Transactions of the 2015 Off-Season - FanGraphs Baseball, Dave Cameron
The Tigers are on the wrong side of a few of these, and I think the Padres are woefully underrepresented after an excellent winter.

In praise of Jackie Robinson West, Little League's greatest cheaters - SBNation, Ricky O'Donnell
If you haven't already read this, do so ASAP.

Frame Jobs - Grantland, Ben Lindbergh
Tigers manager Brad Ausmus -- who also caught, once upon a time -- has been hailed as the "pitch framing king" by many. Just how good was he?

Podcast: How to handle Carlos Rodon and Micah Johnson - South Side Sox, Josh Nelson
Our friends at South Side Sox discuss Victor Martinez and how his injury impacts the AL Central race on their weekly podcast.

Baseball’s Worst Contracts - Grantland, Jonah Keri
Spoiler: the word "Tigers" appears in this article 10 times.

Indians will start some of their home games an hour earlier in 2015 - Let's Go Tribe, Jason Lukehart
The Indians are going to be starting some of their early season night games at 6:10 pm this year. It's an interesting concept, but don't worry: the Tigers aren't in town for any of them.