Ryan Raburn Revisited


I look forward to the profanity-laden comments I’m likely to get from this, but I feel I have to point it out: Ryan Raburn is hitting again!

In the two weeks and change since Carlos Guillen return from DL purgatory, Raburn hasn’t seen an awful lot of action. Only 9 games played, in 4 of which he came off the bench. Of course, what he did in all the action that he saw before July 16 provided ample justification for that punishment and more. Ah, but as we saw last night he doesn’t seem to be doing all that swinging and missing anymore that made Tigers fandom welcome Carlos Guillen as some sort of savior of the second sack. What he is doing is making the ball go far, far away. Since losing that second base job (for good?) Raburn is putting up a line of .400/.478/.750 and has only struck out 3 times in 23 plate appearances. Compare that to the .214/.248/.359 he put up before Guillen’s return, with 86 K’s in 281 PA’s.

I’m not so foolish as to advocate giving Raburn that job back, but it is making me believe that Raburn can have a lot of value as a part time player. After all, last year he was given a starting job out of the gates and squandered the opportunity. But he hit so well fighting for playing time as a reserve in late summer 2010 that the Tigers made him an everyday player again in 2011. Maybe it’s a psychological thing, maybe it’s just a case of only putting Raburn in against pitchers he can hit. At any rate, for my two cents I’m no longer in favor of cutting or trading Mr. Raburn.

Follow through the jump for a note on another favorite Tigers’ scapegoat:

Brandon Inge is mauling the ball in Toledo with a line of .278/.381/.556 in 14 games. Strangely, that makes me a little less confident that Inge will rise from the ashes in 2012: if mono-induced weakness was keeping him from knocking the ball around in the bigs, how come he’s got so much pop in AAA? Or maybe he’s just not able to hit big league pitching anymore… Or, if Brandon Inge is healthy and has broken his slump (I know, I know, it’s a little farfetched) wouldn’t he be a much better platoon partner for Wilson Betemit than Don Kelly has been? What kind of harebrained idea was it to start a third base platoon with two strong sides??? That does not make for a double-strength platoon!