Sunday: Guillen in LF, Raburn at DH

As expected, Ryan Raburn is back in the Tigers lineup Sunday against Indians lefty Cliff Lee. But he’s at DH, not in LF. Instead, Carlos Guillen is in left. Leyland had a meeting with Raburn in his office Sunday morning, trying to get him to relax a bit and calm his nerves. Raburn is 2-for-5 for his career against Cliff Lee, by the way. Gerald Laird, who has the day off, is 1-for-12 off Lee.

Leyland’s opinion on the call on Raburn’s misplay Saturday? He felt it was an error, but he respects the official scorer’s opinion.

Leyland was particularly looking forward to seeing Justin Verlander pitch today, given the way he pitched his last start and his history against Cleveland. Among his opposing hitters will be Matt LaPorta, making his Major League debut.

TIGERS

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Ordonez, RF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Guillen, LF
  6. Inge, 3B
  7. Raburn, DH
  8. Everett, SS
  9. Sardinha, C

P: Verlander

INDIANS

  1. Grady Sizemore, CF
  2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
  3. Victor Martinez, 1B
  4. Shin-Soo Choo, LF
  5. Mark DeRosa, 3B
  6. David Dellucci, DH
  7. Kelly Shoppach, C
  8. Matt LaPorta, RF (Major League debut)
  9. Luis Valbuena, 2B

P: Cliff Lee

22 Comments

Laird needs a day off. Guillen is a liability out there in LF. Obviuosly so is Raburn. It’s pretty easy to rip a strip off him but I know he is actually a better outfielder than what he has shown us. Neverthey less, the capacity for brutal play is still there and you never know when it can happen. It does seem to happen when he is in a pressure situation.
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The whole thing with Larish making the team and them saying he could play a corner OF slot—I don’t think he did play at all out there even with Guillen and Thames hobbled. Management bugs me when they say they are doing something and make it sound so profound and then fail to follow through. Larish’s shot to help the Tigers may only be in the OF. How will they ever know? I bet he doesn’t get any playing time out there in Toledo either (which again doesn’t make sense since the Hens already have 2 corner infielders playing regularly).
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Anyway, I see what JL is trying to do with Raburn today. The problem is even if he is able to rekindle some self-confidence in him, he doesn’t have the skills to be as productive a ballplayer as the club REALLY needs.
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If you have to throw a body out there in LF why not give Santiago a chance to see what he can do? The guy is a good athlete and understands the game. I think he could adapt to anything JL would ask him to do.
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JL is trying to coax Carlos back into being a hitter. He went on and on with sheffield trying to do the same. If he is stubborn enough to think Carlos is going to come around by simply playing him then at least find another spot in the order for him. Carlos is pressing and might have a better chance for success if the pressure is lifted by putting someone else in that RBI spot. Inge makes sense. So does Granderson or Ordonez.
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Guillen could bat 6th for awhile and not suffer too much embarassment at the demotion IMO.
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I think that it is only a matter of time before JL realizes that Granderson has RBI potential and can revitalize the middle of the lineup. Of course that would mean that Anderson would have to be the leadoff guy. A job he can handle, but is he ready for a full time role? I guess we’ll never know.
The guy plays hard and my guess is if he were given the opportunity to hit agains lefties he would still find a way to get on.
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He should be in the lineup today.

Justin needs to bear down and demolish the bottom end of the Indians’ batting order today. That will be a key.

Here’s the bottom of the lineup and here is JV not bearing down to that first batter. That pitch that hit him was supposed to be away. This is the part of a lineup you have to take advantage of. It’s the reason we have been as successful as we have been because we have been getting offensive production from it.

That’s my point. Ahead of the 7 hitter 1-2 and you plunk him on a pitch that wasn’t supposed to be crowding him.
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Then you lose the #9 hitter. You can’t let up on these guys when you know you have 3 great LHB to face after them.
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Verlander’s fault. Let’s hope he can pick himself up after losing the no-hitter then the shut-out. We have seen him get unglued at times like this.

Even JL has to see that Carlos is not gonna be able to overcome this nagging injury. What is really stupid (apart from not helping the team win), is that Carlos is being physically sacrificed until he shreds the tendon and then they can put him on the DL. Have some character and do it now.

The 5th inning has been one to look out for for us and I think may be a challenging one for JV. Imperative to put these guys in their place.
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We have often seen the opposition put big innings together after being well handled and after an excuse me for hitting inning like our offense just had.
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Turning point here IMO

Sure would be nice to get some runs. The offense needs to support their starters when they throw well. Good performances are supposed to complement each other. You get good pitching it should give the hitters a lift and vice versa-at least when a team is going right.
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If Granderson scores after that beauty bunt–I think it help him to consider adding that element to his game. We sure could use the run.

I don’t like the idea that JL didn’t sacrifice with Polanco. Last I looked the game was tied and we have had trouble getting runs. 3 and 4 hitters coming up???
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Cab mighta had an RBI there.

I don’t know about the rest of you folks out there but I am completely fed up with watching Guillen. He has ZERO chance of being dangerous right now.
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I just hope he doesn’t impact this game with a bad play in LF. Base-runners can run on him at will.

These guys simply have to go out and win this game for verlander. It will be a huge lift if they can do that-for him as well as for themselves becasue they have to break the bad habit of not giving him runs in a close game.
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He just had a nice fast inning but he may have only 1 inning left in him.

On the flip side-if they don’t go out and win this one for him you run the risk of discouraging (at least subconciously) the starters and particularly, Verlander.

Hate to say this but JV looks done!

He was wild high and DeRosa waited for his pitch.
Geez!
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BTW–Anderson catches that ball if he is RF.
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Boy do we ever need a home to 2st DP

JV was amazingly composed in that 7th inning.
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Heckuva job keeping in the strike zone after the 0 out trouble.
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Like I say–gotta get him the W

This is so great for these guys to do this righnt now. And that was a clutch, clutch job by Ordonez. Patient disciplined hitting. Credit where credit is due.
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Not sure why Granderson wasn’t bunting though—paid off but still not the way I would have done things

They need to take Guillen out of this game and put in Anderson defensively.–Regardless of what he does.

Carlos is an easy out right now. JL can’t be worried about getting him going or sparing his feelings. They need production out of the 5 hole.
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Smarten up Leyland and read the writing that’s on the wall.
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Couple more runs would be nice here given the fact we have 2 innings to get through- and 1 of those with Rodney.

Zumaya is not the guy I’d be going to in this situation.

Got away with stupidity throwing DeRosa meatballs.

Congratulations to these gusys for playing like a team today and this game may prove to be bigger than the W it adds to the win column.

I was at both games this weekend- and altho I’m proud of the way we pulled off both wins- I have to say the Raburn experiment is quite annoying. Especially today with one automatic out (Sardinha- altho he ended up with a very timely first hit of the season) there was no reason to have Raburn at DH. It was particularly frustrating with bases loaded in the 7th when we could have really used an extra insurance run, not to PH Santiago. But in all- that’s my only criticism of the weekend games. Very exciting baseball to watch.
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-Tracey

I think that Leyland needs to drop down Guillen in the batting order and move Inge up to the #5 spot. Too many players are being left on base when Guillen is up to bat. Let him work out his problems at a lower spot in the order and reward a guy that’s playing his mind out right now.

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