Results tagged ‘ Ryan Raburn ’
The Tigers announced today that Andy Dirks has been recalled from Triple-A Toledo and have subsequently designated Don Kelly for assignment. A lot of people had suspected that Ryan Raburn was going to be the player to move, but in the end, Kelly was the odd man out.
Neither Kelly nor Raburn have provided the Tigers with any real offensive production, although Kelly did provide a lot more value to the team, in terms of defensive abilities. On the year, Raburn has posted a line of .172/.225/.258, whereas Kelly was .175/.267/.243. Unfortunately, Kelly is a left-handed batter, which took away much of his value.
When the emergence of Quintin Berry, Andy Dirks returning from his rehab assignment, and a productive Brennan Boesch, the Tigers found themselves with three better outfielders who all hit left handed. Simply put, Kelly’s services were no longer necessary.
Even though Raburn has struggled mightily this year, he bats right handed and plays both second base and the outfield. Having that option on the bench provides more flexibility and options for manager Jim Leyland, and he’s always spoken about the importance of having players who can play more than one position.
It’ll be interesting to see where Kelly ends up landing, whether he gets claimed through waivers, or if he’ll end up back in Toledo. I’ve yet to hear anything bad about him, so I wish him the best in all of his future endeavors. Thanks for everything, especially for providing us with this memorable moment.
Today marks a pivotal point for the Detroit Tigers, as they begin a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox. Entering tonight’s game, the White Sox lead the Tigers by a game and a half in the American League Central division. If the Tigers can manage to win all three games, they’ll find themselves alone in first place.
I’d be lying if I said that this series will make or break the 2012 season for Detroit, but it’s certainly a good time for them to prove whether or not they belong in the playoffs, as well as determining if and what trades we should make before the July 31st deadline.
There’s been a lot of speculation that the Tigers are looking to acquire a starting pitcher like James Shields or Ryan Dempster, but I think the asking price for both might be a little more than I’d be comfortable with giving up. If Detroit wants to add someone to the rotation, a guy like Jason Vargas would make a lot more sense to me.
It’s a lot more likely that they’ll end up trading for a middle infielder, such as Willie Bloomquist, Jose Altuve or Aaron Hill. Overall, the rotation has been good enough for us to win the division, but the Tigers have yet to get any sort of offensive production from anyone they’ve had playing second. Does this mean the end for Ryan Raburn? Although it’s far from a certainty, I’d imagine the Tigers would look into releasing him if they need to create room for their 25-man roster.
Tonight, Justin Verlander will square off against Jake Peavy in what should be a very well pitched ballgame. The Tigers have played well as of late, winning eight of their last ten games. The White Sox will look to rebound after their last two games against the Boston Red Sox.
As if things weren’t complicated enough already for the Tigers, today they had to announce multiple roster changes.
The first and most devastating move, was the announcement that Doug Fister will once again be returning to the 15-day disabled list. The Tigers have announced the injury to be a left-side strain, and they’re hopeful that he will only miss those 15 days.
Replacing Fister will be Casey Crosby, a left-handed pitching prospect who was originally expected to break camp with the Tigers this spring. Instead, he started out in Triple-A Toledo, where he is 4-2 with a 4.26 ERA in nine starts. Assuming he makes his expected start on Friday, he’ll be making his major league debut against the Yankees.
The Tigers also announced that they have optioned Ryan Raburn to Toledo, and have called up catcher Omir Santos to take up his place on the team. In the mean time, Danny Worth and Ramon Santiago will be splitting time at second base.
That move surprises me a bit, mainly because you don’t often call up a third-string catcher to replace a position player. I wonder if the Tigers are planning on making another move very soon (perhaps even a trade), because this move doesn’t make a ton of sense.
It is said that patience is a virtue, but when it comes to the Tigers, a lot of fans don’t have much left.
To put it simply, the Tigers have been underperforming their expectations for the year. Yes, it’s early in the year, but it hasn’t been pretty the last few weeks. The Tigers have more talent on their team than most teams in baseball, but yet we find them third in the AL Central. Who’s to blame?
I don’t think the fault can fall on any one person, but I’m sure you’ll hear a lot of names being mentioned. No, the Tigers aren’t losing because of Jim Leyland or Prince Fielder, but it’s really an issue of finding some sort of consistency.
When you look at a traditional playoff team, you often see a team with a great balance of pitching, hitting and defense. Right now, I’m not sure the Tigers are consistently performing in any of those categories.
The rotation has been hit or miss, with the exceptions of Doug Fister and Justin Verlander. Drew Smyly has also been solid as the fifth man in the rotation, too. The bullpen hasn’t been lights out, and there’s really no one in the bullpen that I have a ton of faith in at the moment.
Let us also not forget to mention the grab bag of second baseman we’ve had to use. Collectively, they’re barely hitting above their weight. Ryan Raburn (.144), Ramon Santiago (.188) and Danny Worth (.176) are not long-term solutions at second base, and unfortunately they’re the best we have right now.
Come the trade deadline (if not sooner), I would expect the Tigers to be seeking an arm or two out of the bullpen, plus a replacement for second base. If the Tigers continue to struggle through the end of July, it also wouldn’t shock me if the Tigers end up firing one of their coaches.
Until then, I’m going to do my best to be patient. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the Tigers are too good of a team to be only a .500 team. I refuse to panic, but my patience is certainly running thin.
The Tigers have gotten off to a solid start this year, but there’s one aspect of their game that has not received the attention that it’s deserved.
If you would’ve asked baseball fans around the country what the biggest struggle was going to be for the Tigers this year, they would have all mentioned defense. The Tigers are not a team that is built around strong defense, and critics immediately started to wonder how having Miguel Cabrera at third, Prince Fielder at first, Ryan Raburn at second and Delmon Young in left field would impact the club.
After 11 games, the Tigers have only committed three errors, which is the second fewest in all of baseball (only trailing the Boston Red Sox). It’s hard to imagine that the Tigers will be able to keep that pace going for the remainder of the season, but it’s certainly not impossible.
Cabrera and Fielder both worked incredibly hard during spring training, as the two pushed each other to do everything they could to make themselves better defensively. In recent interviews, Fielder has said that he felt he owed it to Cabrera to work on his defensive game, and that says a lot about his character and team chemistry.
People certainly expect the Tigers to do a lot of things this year. They’re going to hit home runs, score runs and pitch well, but I don’t think many people expected them to look this good defensively. Playing solid defense is often something that goes unnoticed by most people, but there’s an old saying in baseball, ‘Pitching and defense wins championships.” The Tigers not only are doing both of those things, but they’re hitting the ball, and that makes them very dangerous.
Every good debate needs to have two sides, otherwise it isn’t much of a debate. It’s almost opening day, and this tends to be the time of year where everyone is making their predictions. Seeing as the Tigers begin their season tomorrow, I’m going to debate myself and tell you why the Tigers will, and will not win the World Series in 2012.
Why they will.
2011 proved that the Tigers are a dominant team, and find themselves as heavy favorites to repeat as winners of the AL Central. Breakout years from players such as Justin Verlander, Jhonny Peralta, Alex Avila and Jose Valverde weren’t flukes, and some of them could even improve in 2012!
Last year, Verlander demonstrated that he has finally turned the corner in becoming one of the best pitchers in all of baseball (if not the best). His MVP and Cy Young winning season was one that will certainly be talked about for years to come, and there’s no reason to suspect he can’t repeat it. The Tigers signed Prince Fielder, and have Delmon Young for an entire year, so he should get even more run support than he’s ever had.
When the season began in 2011, I highly doubt many people in Detroit had even heard of Doug Fister, but now it’s hard to find someone that doesn’t know who he is. After being traded to Detroit, Fister was able to put up numbers that not only rivaled Verlander, but was better than him in some (1.79 ERA for Fister compared to 2.54 for Verlander). Having him for the entire year can only lead to more wins, and get us to another World Series.
Let’s also not forget the Tigers biggest acquisition of the offseason, signing Prince Fielder to a nine-year deal. Having Fielder hitting behind Cabrera gives the Tigers the best three and four hitting combination of all of baseball.
With the pitching and offense the Tigers have, there’s no way they don’t win the World Series this year.
There’s no chance the Tigers will win the World Series.
Sure, the Tigers had an incredible year in 2011, but there’s no chance of repeating it.
Verlander is without a doubt one of the best pitchers in baseball, but there’s no chance he’s going to come close in matching any of those numbers again. Look at his career numbers, and you can see how he outperformed almost every single statistic. I’m sure he’ll have a quality season, but he won’t come close to what he did last year.
Can this team actually play defense? You have Miguel Cabrera playing third base, and one of the worst defensive first baseman in all of baseball (Fielder). Not only that, but you have Ryan Raburn playing second base, Delmon Young in left field and Jhonny Peralta at shortstop. There’s no reason to suspect that the Tigers won’t commit the most errors in all of baseball. What’s the old saying? Oh yeah, pitching and DEFENSE win championships.
There were also plenty of flukes in 2011, such as seeing Avila win the Silver Slugger, and Peralta putting up career numbers offensively. ‘Papa Grande’ won’t be so grand, and he’s going to blow a few saves along the way, too. Sure, they’ll be good enough to win their division, but there’s no way they’ll make it out of the first round.
Now that you‘ve heard both sides of the argument, what do you? Do the Tigers have what it takes to win the World Series in 2012?
Earlier today, I completed my first ever fantasy baseball auction draft for a 12 team head to head league. I heavily suggest you and your friends giving it a try sometime, as it adds a fun and competitive dynamic not found in a traditional draft. The concept is quite simple, even for first time participants. You start out with a certain amount of “dollars” to spend on your team (for us, it was 260 dollars). Instead of going in order to draft players, you rotate nominating players, in which all teams have the option of bidding on said player. The catch is you must be able to bid at least one dollar on every single player, and you cannot spend over your bankroll on your entire draft. This creates a challenge when you big top dollar on players early in the draft, but find yourself too low on funds to bid on players in the later rounds.
Here’s my team, and how much I bid on each player.
Catcher: Alex Avila-$13
First baseman: Joey Votto-$47
Second baseman: Ryan Raburn-$1
Shortstop: J.J. Hardy-$6
Third baseman: Placido Polanco-$5
Outfield: Curtis Granderson-$32
Outfield: Brennan Boesch-$7
Outfield: Drew Stubbs-$7
Utility: Corey Hart-$7
Utility: Carlos Beltran-$5
Bench: Jhonny Peralta-$1
Bench: Yadier Molina-$3
Bench: David Freese-$4
Bench: Neil Walker-$3
Starting pitcher: Roy Halladay-$42
Starting pitcher: Doug Fister-$15
Relief pitcher: Jose Valverde-$14
Relief pitcher: Phil Coke-$3
Pitcher: Rick Porcello-$6
Pitcher: Mat Latos-$12
Pitcher: Ryan Madson-$6
Bench: Max Scherzer-$4
Bench: Tim Hudson-$2
Overall, I really feel like my team is very solid all around, with enough star players to make a difference. My strategy going into the draft was to not spend more than 20 percent of my budget on any one player, and to not have more than three people combine to cost more than 60 percent of salary cap. I was able to get my three most expensive players for 46.5% of my budget. By doing this, I had plenty of money available in the later parts of the auction to outbid people who spent foolishly early on. If you do find yourself in an auction draft, I suggest using a similar strategy, as I thought it worked quite well.
So if you wanted to ask me who the Detroit Tigers second baseman will be on opening day, I could give you at least four different options that make sense. The Tigers have quite the rotation system in order for second base, and I’m not sure how good of a thing that is.
I can’t think of too many major league teams that are still actively unsure of their situation at second base, but the Tigers have more options than a kid in a candy store. Sure, the options aren’t necessarily that of an all-star caliber, but they all certainly provide a lot of good things to the table.
You have Ramon Santiago, the switch hitter. Santiago has been consistent, and it was rumored that he turned down a starting position offer from a few teams in order to come back to Detroit. There’s been questions about his durability (not his talent), otherwise he would certainly would have been able to find more offers as a free agent. Although Santiago offers the least amount of offensive power out of the group, he may very well be the most consistent offensive producer.
Another strong possibility for the opening day starter goes to left-handed hitting Don Kelly. Kelly has proven to be the true super-utility player, doing everything from pitching to catching in 2011 for Detroit. It wouldn’t necessarily shock me if Kelly gets slotted in on opening day (assuming Boston pitches the right-handed Josh Beckett), but only if Kelly can put up solid offensive numbers during Spring Training.
Then there’s Ryan Raburn. Simply put, unless opening day comes after July 31st, I don’t think Raburn is going to be nearly good enough offensively or defensively to give him the nod. Truth be told, it also wouldn’t shock me to see Raburn get traded prior to opening day. Despite his defensive limitations, he provides a strong right-handed bat which a lot of teams may be interested in, especially for such a low cost.
Every offseason usually provides some sort of story that has captured the attention of Detroit fans. I can’t think of a better example of that than with the story of Brandon Inge attempting to become the second baseman for Detroit. I’ve gone on record many times saying I love the fact that Inge is willing to do whatever he has to do to get playing time. I don’t get the people crying and complaining about the fact Inge is doing everything he can to get playing time. If you’re a coach, you want 25 people on your team with that competitive drive. After the Tigers signed Prince Fielder and decided to move Miguel Cabrera to third base, Inge found himself without a position.
He approached Tigers manager Jim Leyland and General Manager Dave Dombrowski and said he wanted a chance to be the second baseman. Since then, Dombrowski has made comments saying Inge looks like a natural who has been playing the position for over a decade. This says a lot about the athleticism of Brandon Inge, and if he can put up any sort of offensive numbers, I think it’s safe to say he’ll get a good share of playing time at second. Also take into consideration that the Tigers would have to eat six million dollars to cut him, it has to make you believe that they’re going to be at least willing to give him a shot.
For what it’s worth, I got my money on Inge. Who do you think will get the nod?
For those of you out there who don’t know what the Mendoza Line is, or refers to, I’ll fill you in. The Mendoza Line is from Mario Mendoza, a former major league baseball player who had a .215 career batting average. Through inflation, deflation, or whatever you want to call it, a player is said to have fallen below the Mendoza Line when their batting average has dipped below .200. By doing so, that player is said to have officially become a liability to his team, regardless of how good he may be defensively. Usually a team doesn’t have a player that hits .200 or worse on their team (unless you count pitchers, but that just seems silly) after they’ve played more than 40 games and have almost 150 at bats, let alone have them be one of their starters, but lo and behold, my beloved Detroit Tigers do!
Now, this isn’t an attack against Ryan Raburn (maybe it is even, I’m not sure), but why would a manager continue to trot someone out there as an everyday starter for you, if they are still only hitting .196 after 153 at bats? Is it because he’s a defensive specialist? As you can see here, it looks like Miguel Olivo is the only person benefiting from his defense.
All kidding aside, I don’t think Jim Leyland and the Detroit Tigers can continue to let Raburn get nearly as many starts right now, as he’s really just not helping the team win. Whether this means he needs to start platooning, become a bench player, sent to Toledo or the Tigers need to trade for a new second baseman, something needs to happen soon.
And no, I didn’t forget to mention Brandon Inge. He provides a gold-glove caliber defense, and displays great veteran leadership both on and off the field. Besides, he’s only a career .236 hitter, so you really shouldn’t expect that much out of him.
Until next time…
Today with no doubt will be a big game for the Detroit Tigers and Brad Penny. After having two disappointing starts, there are a lot of questions as to whether or not he’s still a pitcher worth keeping around. I’m curious to see how he handles a rather difficult Texas lineup, but hopefully he can at least put together a quality start.
And as promised, here’s the current 2011 Tigers PPA% updated through 4/11/2011
(Sorted by number of PA)
Miguel Cabrera:. 512
Austin Jackson: .262
Victor Martinez: .262
Will Rhymes: .316
Jhonny Peralta: .429
Brandon Inge: .273
Brennan Boesch: .424
Alex Avila: .355
Magglio Ordonez: .346
Ryan Raburn: .375
Don Kelly: .250
Ramon Santiago: .400
Casper Wells: .333