Ryan Raburn gets defensive, sort of
In case you missed it, I wrote last night on Ryan Raburn’s journey to a long-awaited starting spot and how this spring contrasts with so many previous camps where he had to try to win a roster spot. There’s definitely a sense that has finally arrived, but there’s still that sense he wants to prove himself on defense. He’s a little irked by the reputation he has picked up in left field after some high-profile miscues last year. From the story:
“I don’t understand why people give me such a bad rep,” he said. “Yeah, I’ve made mistakes, but so have a lot of other people. I’d like to see [others] go out every so many days … and try to do the best they can. They’re not going to be perfect, but there’s nobody in this game that is perfect.”
Raburn’s point: It’s hard to judge a utility player as an outfielder if he’s playing there sporadically while mixing in infield work. He’s getting all of his work in the outfield this spring, both in games and in workouts.
For what it’s worth, I don’t think there’s anything physically that should preclude Raburn from being a better outfielder. When he has made his gaffes, it hasn’t been because he couldn’t get to the ball. Either he takes a bad route or makes a bad read. The hope would be that the more repetitions he has, the better reads and routes he gets.
I can’t say I’ve seen all of Raburn’s work this spring; I missed the split-squad game in Clearwater where he tripled and homered. But I’ve only seen one Raburn misread this spring, which turned a line drive against the Blue Jays last Saturday into a jumping catch.