Raburn heading for rehab assignment with Toledo
For those who thought you might have seen the last of Ryan Raburn when he went on the disabled list August 1, it might be time to think again. The Tigers announced they are sending him out on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Toledo, beginning Wednesday. He went on the DL with a sprained right thumb.
Jim Leyland said later Tuesday he sent word to Toledo to have Raburn playing primarily in left field, with a game at second and first base now and then.
By rule, Raburn can stay on rehab for as long as 20 days, but the Mud Hens season ends on Labor Day in less than two weeks. Two days before that, Major League rosters expand for September call-ups, giving the Tigers an option to activate him from the DL without having to send down anyone. At this point, as long as he’s healthy, it would be a surprise if he isn’t on the roster in September, either at the start of the month or after Labor Day.
Leyland hinted at the possibility when he continued talking about the plan on Raburn. On the positional work, he said, “That’s all irrelevant as far as I’m concerned. The fact of the matter is he has to swing the bat.”
Whether he would get any starts as an extra right-handed hitting outfielder is questionable. The way the Tigers roster looks right now, they have to start at least one left-handed hitter in the outfield unless they put Delmon Young in left and start an infielder at DH. That’s not going to happen, with Young pretty much entrenched at DH for the stretch run. Andy Dirks is 8-for-35 with two home runs against left-handers this year, but those numbers are better than what Raburn was doing off lefties (14-for-85, eight doubles, no homers, 17 strikeouts).