Raburn optioned to Toledo, Santiago/Worth at 2nd

That leash on Ryan Raburn that Jim Leyland said wasn’t very long on Tuesday afternoon ran out by the end of the night.

The Tigers announced after Tuesday’s loss that they had optioned Ryan Raburn to Triple-A Toledo, but Leyland said it had been a decision in the works for a while. His decision to bat Raburn second in the batting order on Monday was a last-ditch effort to get Raburn out of his season-long funk.

Once Raburn struck out three times on called third strikes that afternoon, the Tigers’ wait for him to find his annual summer groove ended.

“I knew this was the end of the rope if I didn’t get something going, so I put him in the two-hole,” Leyland said.

They’ll still look for him to get that spark, but he’ll have to find it in a Mud Hens uniform first.

“You have to understand, this is not a punishment,” Leyland said. “We have to try to get him going. He has gone down before and got it going and come back and helped us out. We’re hoping that’s what happens. But right now, we’re beating a dead horse. It’s just not working.”

No return move was announced. They’ll have a call-up on Wednesday, but Leyland said it will not be a second baseman.

“I have a combination of [Ramon] Santiago and [Danny] Worth,” Leyland said, “and I think that combination will stay intact.”

Neither Santiago nor Worth have hit particularly well, either, but neither had been getting the regular at-bats Raburn was. The move doesn’t make way for a replacement so much as it gets Raburn out of a situation that wasn’t working.

Raburn’s slow starts and midseason streaks have been almost an annual storyline since 2009, but his numbers this year’s have been particularly bad. His .146 batting average (18-for-123) was the lowest in the Majors among players with at least 100 plate appearances this year.

“It’s kind of something I didn’t want to think would happen,” Raburn said, “but the way I’ve been swinging, I just hadn’t really gotten the job done. It was kind of inevitable, just to help the team and help me kind of get it going. It’s just unfortunate I wasn’t able to help the team out much.”

Raburn had brief stints at Toledo in three straight seasons from 2008-2010 before spending all of last season in the big leagues. Two years ago, he went 12-for-27 with six doubles as a Mud Hen and never looked back. The hope clearly is that he can have a similar spark that he never found here.

“I don’t think we’ve seen the end of him,” Leyland said. “I’d be shocked if he doesn’t get going.”

Raburn doesn’t feel like he’s embarking on a major project.

“I don’t feel like I’m trying to rediscover my swing or anything like that,” he said. “It’s just a matter of getting hits. That’s the bottom line. This game is based on production and right now I just wasn’t going. … I know I can help this ballclub. It’s just a matter of getting it going and getting back.”

The difference in Toledo, Raburn said, is that the pressure for immediate production isn’t as great.

“I think the main thing down there is really it’s not based on production,” he said. “I can go down there just trying to find me again. I don’t think it’s that far off. It’s just a matter of going down there and getting some at-bats. Sometimes having somebody else’s piece of mind can trigger something.

“I wish I had an answer why I wasn’t getting hits, but that’s part of the game. They’re out there making their money too.”

 

12 Comments

GK,
Masterson’s grandmother passed away over the weekend. He probably had a little more on his mind than pitching last night.

glad to see the move. 18-123 is brutal. Now it is Santiago’s turn to get everyday ABs. Who is coming up, then?

Leyland’s hand was forced, he had to send Rayburn down before they play at home again. Accountability. It was the right thing to do, but that won’t change anything. The game last night reminded us fans that JV is human and will struggle from time to time. We always expect the lights out JV.

It would be nice to see Berry move to 2nd but that would be a difficult task. I hav enjoyed watching him and you know we will get his best effort. Hopefully Ramon can at least be consistent. We need a win tonight

I’ve notice that Ramon has slowed down a bit.

word is, Santos is coming up from the Hens. Does that make any sense at all to bring up another catcher? Is something going on with Laird/Avila we don’t know about? gotta wonder what the heck is going on sometimes.

That does seem a bit weird.

This should help Raburn a lot. At the beginning of the season, he was swinging at many of the same pitches that he had success with last year, but was getting no results. What was a homer last year was a fly to the leftfielder this season, etc. He hit in some bad luck (this entire team has been unlucky) also, but then he seemed to become confused as to what to swing at, at which point it got really bad. He just needs a shot of confidence. And it would help if people got off his case. Not every player can handle that stuff. At least this is how I see it.
I think Worth will be the immediate beneficiary of the move, since Danny was getting little PT. JL won’t play Santiago everyday.
No clue as to why Santos is called up.

Pingback: Tigers demote longtime regular Ryan Raburn to Triple-A | HardballTalk

Well Santos coming up is bizarre. Laird not getting enough playing time as it is.
Perhaps a deal is in the works? Another injury?
Not much explanation for this one. JL just sent Raburn packing because of too many “dead spots” in the lineup. How about dead wood on the bench?
Eldred (with his Josh Hamilton-like numbers) stays behind in Toledo. He didn’t get a long enough look here IMO.
I have been thinking that it would be nice to have someone fill Raburn’s spot that can provide something special in terms of defense, OBP or speed. Those hopes have been dashed.
In terms of boosting the team this move does nothing, absolutely nothing.

My arch nemesis Ryan has gone south. I think he had ample chances to find the swing he left in Florida. His lack of power and ability to make contact made the guy a big negative in the lineup not to mention his well below average defensive skills. Santos coming up makes little to no sense when they already have Laird. Our team average is rising now but our ability to win hasn’t. It may just take the right shuffling of linup to push the boys over the hump.

While we all agree that we need to settle the 2nd base issue, in Leyland’s defense (Yes, I actually did say that), there are so many areas of concern to address with this ball club.
How to hit opposing starting pitchers
how to bunt/when to bunt
how to get a run home from 3rd with nobody out
how to swing the bat with 2 strikes and the base loaded
how not to swing at the 1st pitch when losing
how to run
how to go from 1st to 3rd
how to field
how to turn a DP
how to cover cover first
how to handle the other guys’ running game (Avila is off)
who to pitch in relief (though I think that area is actually getting better)
how to pitch with an 0-2 count
how to make a lineup
who to call up from Toledo
more?

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