Leyland: Raburn leash “probably not very long”

Jim Leyland went on air with Mike Stone and Bill McAllister on 97.1 FM in Detroit this morning and talked about his postgame rant on the Mike Aviles call yesterday, saying among other things that the umpiring crew wasn’t going to take any argument over the call and that he isn’t in favor of a big expansion of instant replay. He also was asked about Ryan Raburn, and how long of a leash he has at second base.

That leash, Leyland said, is “probably not very long right now, to be honest with you.”

He didn’t expand on that. When asked about Quintin Berry’s hot start and how he could stick with the team after Austin Jackson’s return, however, Leyland said they’ll “put the best players on the field.”

It’s something Leyland has hinted at before. What it means, and how much time it means, at this point remains to be seen. Ramon Santiago has also struggled to a slow start, though not to the same degree, in starts at second and short. Danny Worth is 4-for-22 with seven strikeouts so far. One of them, though, could get some extended stretch here.

One more interesting note which could impact a lot of this: Leyland said the Tigers aren’t sure Jackson will be returning Friday when he’s eligible to come off the 15-day DL. As reported Monday, Jackson did not join the team in Boston because he wasn’t ready for baseball activities yet. Hard to see Jackson jumping back into the lineup without so much as batting practice in front of team medical staff.

31 Comments

wow jackson’s injury was no small injury apparently. Berry starting in LF would be really fun to watch.

and about raburn….he has now had 123 ABs…..it isn’t like he has been coming around recently (BA~0.165 in past 7 days)

At some point you have to give up on raburn turning it around. Maybe a stint in toledo would get him going. They tried it with inge and it had limited success. Give ramon the position and see if he gets going. At least ramon brings baserunning skill to the plate and he can sac bunt occasionally. Might complement the berry and dirks style of small ball.balance out the big boys power. Hey put on one style of play one day and switch it up the next. That would keep other teams guessing. options are a good thing to have.

For what it’s worth, the fan poll following my article at blessyouboys this morning is running over 80 per cent in favor of sending Raburn down when Jackson returns. I think they need to give Ryan a break. It’s understandable that they feel the best option is to get his bat going, and they don’t have to give up on him since he has an option left. But Worth has only 22 AB’s this year as they’ve been running Inge and Raburn out there as the regulars. Even as his average is down, Danny’s OBP is .100 points higher than Raburn is giving them.

patrick nailed it on the head here. Danny hasn’t been given the legit opportunity and he is still better than Ryan Rugburn.
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Send Ryan down – get him hot in toledo – then bring him back. If he doesn’t go on a “second half rampage” then trade him for a bag of balls. Of course, after that – he will hit 400 with power :p

I feel for him. He makes no excuses and doesn’t put his foot in his mouth. You can see the dejection in his face. We need a strong 2nd baseman with that infield.

Don’t you think they have given Raburn a long enough chances. I thought they where going to give (longest Tiger a shot at second but NOT as long though) so they got rid of him and he is doing better with a different environment. Maybe that is what Raburn needs and so do the Tigers. And one other thing Please don’t mess with the lineup for at least a couple of weeks. See how whoever plays second base can handle the position LEFT HANDED or RIGHT HANDED pitching.

Jackson has been out two weeks and I think those core injuries usually go more like 3 to 4 weeks. It may be some time yet.
Leyland has shown that he likes very much to start Santiago, but only in the final two months of the season. That “wearing down” thing is very real in Jim’s mind. Playing the “best players” is a strong indication that, if Jackson came back today, Raburn would be suiting up in Toledo. That can change before Austin really does return, however. I think they should have sent Ryan down some time ago, since it appears to be a confidence thing. It’s possible that his option is a roster issue because once it’s used, next time Raburn would have to be put on waivers and snapped up immediately by any number of teams. Seems like they could trade him for something of value if they didn’t just give him away.
Problem is, we’ve struggled with the .150 hitter for two months and if we don’t get the good second half from him, it’s been a big waste of time and ballgames. I don’t think even the biggest Raburn basher thought he would hit this poorly.

Rich, it isn’t the only problem though. We seem to dwell on the scapegoat du jour (first Inge, now Raburn, before that Grilli, etc…) Peralta, Avilia, Delmon, Kelly, and Santiago all have struggled as well at the dish. And Boesch slumped early.
If this team is indeed built for the playoffs, we need a productive bat at 2B, and Raburn has the most potential to fill that. Santiago hit with authority in Sept last year, but this year has not looked too strong at the plate either. So yes, the Raburn leash should shorten. I just don’t think the alternatives will be much better. I was hoping Raburn was awakening in Chicago with that HR, but he seems lost again.

You forgot Magglio. He was a scapegoat in ’09 and last year.

After all the times I’ve said Raburn isn’t the main problem, and before that Inge wasn’t the main problem, you tell me it isn’t the only problem. :-) I’m just commenting on the subject here. But there is a difference between those slumping guys and someone who hasn’t hit above .160 all season. I was good with Raburn hitting 9th, just like Inge. And yes, there is always a scapegoat for some reason.
We don’t need a productive bat at 2ndbase, we need a ballplayer who can do many things, including play good D. We’ve got too many “sluggers” as it is. THAT might be the problem.

He must have twisted something really bad. Even when he feels ready he’ll have to rehab after all this time. Wished he’d taken himself out right away. He’s so valuable . Hope he heals quickly.

would anyone care to comment about Jose Altuve and the possibilities of him being our Polanco replacement?
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if you do not know him: http://houston.astros.mlb.com/team/player.jsp?player_id=514888#gameType='R'&sectionType=career&statType=1&season=2012&level='ALL
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I have heard rumblings about Turner and Nick C. being required due to the Astros being so enamored with him. Might as well send RR that way too.

Is that a joke?

no not a joke, port. was just wondering anyhow. The guy has lots of speed, sound defense, maybe a better bat than any of our 2B options, and Turner isn’t doing that well in AAA and Nick (hitting 400 right now) really doesn’t have anywhere to play.
Just tossin it out there. Would ya expect less of me..

Not happening.

We didn’t use those two guys for a #2 starter (Gio Gonzalez), we sure won’t use them for a middle infielder.

No way they get rid of NC and Turner for a 5’5″, untested MLB ball player.

What makes anyone think the Astros want to trade Altuve? Do they have an alternative 2B player? If he is doing well so far, they’ll want to see how he continues. If he falters, who will want him then?

with that logic lots of trades don’t happen – that happen all the time. just toss’n it out there – i heard two ESPN writers talking about it briefly.

Agree. He is their MVP this season and they are in a weaker division than the Tigers. Next year wil be harder once they are in the AL .They cant be in rebuilding mode forever and the time could be ripe now to make a rush

We have secondbasemen. They just don’t get to play much.

men or man? I only count 1.

I personally don’t think we can win consistently with the 2nd basemen we have. I like Ramon. I think Worth might be a decent utility player. Raburn is a liability in the field.
We need an impact player there and one that can run. I don’t know muych about Altuve but the price tag would have to be Raburn and Oliver and maybe Santos.

We’ll disagree on that one. We don’t need yet another star, we need some of the guys we have to step up. Like I said last week, three measly hits in the Cleveland series and we sweep them. I don’t think there are any Ian Kinslers out there anyway.

An “impact player” at 2nd is the least of our concerns. platoon santiago and raburn this year then fix the problem in the off season. good pitching and timely hitting is all that any team needs to win.

agreed that it’s not a really large issue.

If jackson comes back – and hits well – where does Quinten Berry get starts? Left or Left and Right?

Rich – I know you have been saying Raburn isn’t the only problem. I am agreeing with you, which I do most of the time.
JV on the mound tonight, let’s get a new 3 game winning streak going!

Yeah you were. Saw that when I read it differently. Oops. Sorry man.

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