Catching Up with Former Detroit Tigers


The 2013 season has entered its second week and we all know the story of the current crop of Detroit Tigers: a so-so 4-3 record for a team that has alternated between an anemic offense and an eye-popping hitting juggernaut.

Many of the top of the lineup guys are having a great Opening Week. While others, such as Victor Martinez, could not have imagined a worse start to the season.

But that is baseball. Everything in the Opening Week is magnified greatly. History says Torii Hunter‘s hitting will slow down slightly and Martinez will (hopefully) regain form after returning from his mysterious bat rack hand injury.

So how are some former beloved Tigers doing in their new homes? Okay, so pretty much none of these guys were beloved in Detroit, but its always interesting to check in with them from time to time.

Ryan Raburn

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When we last checked in with Ryan Raburn, he was destroying the ball in Arizona for his new club, the Cleveland Indians.  He played in 23 games in February and March, posting a .341 average with five homers and 12 RBIs, earning a spot on the Opening Day roster after originally signing a minor league deal.

Through the eight games Cleveland has played as of Wednesday morning, Raburn had played in half of those games, posting a .182 average. He has two hits (a single and double) in 11 at-bats with two walks and two strikeouts.

So, in other words, Ryan is in mid-season form and his bloated spring numbers are all but a memory.

Gerald Laird

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The fact that Gerald Laird is not backing up Alex Avila on the Tigers today is still a head-scratcher to me. I understand the economics (supposedly Laird wanted a multi-year deal and the Tigers were only willing to offer a one-year deal), yet his second stint in Detroit was much more successful than his first and I’d rather have him than Brayan Pena–but that’s a post for another day.

Coming out of camp, Laird was penciled in as the everyday starter for the Atlanta Braves while regular All-Star catcher Brian McCann recovered from shoulder surgery. Currently, it seems as though rookie Evan Gattis has been getting the nod behind the plate more often than Laird because of the young player’s slugging potential.

Nevertheless, Laird has been making the most of his limited appearances, hitting .400 ( 4-for-11) with a pair of doubles.

Brennan Boesch

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Perhaps the ex-player Tiger fans are most aware of is Brennan Boesch as he just faced the team over the weekend with mixed results. Defensively speaking, he made a great grab of a Prince Fielder shot during the Home Opener that stunned 45,000 fans. The next day, he made a typical bonehead play.

Boesch joined the hitting assault against the Indians last night, slamming his first homer in a 14-1 Yankees rout. Thus far Brennan has been okay for New York, hitting .250 in six games.

Delmon Young

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The ALCS MVP, Delmon Young, has yet to take the field for his new team, the Philadelphia Phillies. He is still recovering from right ankle surgery, and is taking regular at-bats in extended Spring Training in Clearwater. A minor league rehab could be coming within a week for Young.

Brandon Inge

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No look at former Tigers would be complete without looking at the polarizing Charles Brandon Inge. Like the other love-em or hate-em former Tiger, Raburn, Inge also signed a minor league deal with his new team. However, unlike Ryan, Brandon failed to make the Opening Day roster and is currently toiling in Indianapolis, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ AAA club.

Sadly (unless you’re an Inge hater) Brandon’s early season stats do not bode well for a call-up anytime soon. In six games, he has two hits with a home run in 18 at-bats, good for a .111 average.