What to do with Ryan Raburn?

Ryan Raburn's poor first halves are legendary, but how long can the Tigers accept them?

What to do with Ryan Raburn?

That’s a tough question, he has been anything but good recently, but if history can tell us anything it tells us that if Raburn is to turn things around it will come in the upcoming weeks. But can the Tigers afford to wait that long?

Again, a tough question. The Tigers are struggling to stay over the .500 mark but they have been getting production out of the positions that they expect to get it from. Both Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder have stepped up their game and have all but carried this Detroit team to where it is. But they can’t do it on their own, they need help from all positions, but especially from second base.

Tigers second basemen have committed six errors at the halfway point of the season while compiling a .984 fielding percentage and have turned an American League low 45 double plays. On top of all of that Detroit second basemen have recorded the second worse Rdrs/yr with a -14. Meaning that Tigers second basemen cost this team 14 runs a season in the field per season.

What has become evident in the last several weeks is that Manager Jim Leyland doesn’t trust Raburn at second as far as he can throw him, and when he has penciled him into the lineup it has been in the outfield and not at 2B. And it makes sense.

When Raburn plays at 2B his numbers are terrible, not only does he struggle offensively, but he can’t seem to get his head around how to field his position. In 31 games at second base, Raburn has a .970 fielding percentage and three errors. Not exactly stellar numbers.

But after speaking to Leyland it turns out he actually does know what he’s doing, and he knows that Raburn isn’t good at second, but that when he plays him in the outfield his defense goes up a bit and his arm becomes a plus for the team.

In 41 appearances in the outfield, 17 starts, Raburn has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage with no errors. While this in no way means that Raburn should become a mainstay in the outfield, it does mean that he has found his place and should stay the hell away from second base.

At the break, Raburn was batting .171 with a .228 on-base percentage, both numbers are beyond terrible. The fact that the Tigers are even considering keeping this guy on the roster is insane, but this what he does, he sucks beyond belief in the first half, only to flip a switch in the second half and play like an all-star. Why does he play like that? Probably because he’s awful, but Detroit doesn’t have a whole lot of options.

Knowing that they are stuck with him for now, Detroit should play him frequently in the outfield and give him plenty of opportunities, if he falls on his face, which he probably will, leave him wherever the team happens to be during that road trip and call him from the air to tell him he’s been cut.

But the Tigers, unfortunately, owe it to themselves to at least check to see if there are any signs of life remaining with Raburn, because if he can somehow get his bat to get out of the deep freezer it’s been in he could at least be somewhat helpful to the team.

Give him two weeks of consistent playing time in the outfield, if he can’t get his stuff together when the Tigers have run out the string then he should have that string cut. Detroit should give Raburn just enough rope to hang himself with.

3 replies on “What to do with Ryan Raburn?

  • Jim Kennedy

    You look like that priest kid from ‘GRAND TORINO” with Eastwood! Rayburn is a magor dissapointment and I don`t think he`ll show us his usuall 2nd half skills this year…remember what he was doing in spring training? I don`t agree with hanging him, just trading him or releasing him would be fine and bringing up that kid 3B!

  • Delissca

    I agree with John, Rayburn must either be traded or sent down to Toledo. With Dirks getting ready to come back, we just don’t have room for Ryan! To bad because he’s really cute lol.

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