24 August 2012
He’s doing it again. Of course, he’s currently doing it in the minor leagues against Triple-A pitching, but in two rehab starts in Toledo (11 plate appearances) Ryan Rabrun has put up a .444/.545/1.222 line (that’s a 1.768 OPS). Included in that line are two home runs.
It’s obviously an incredibly small sample size, but a return of “second-half” Ryan Raburn could be an incredible asset to the Tigers in September and even in the (gulp) playoffs. I wouldn’t blame any fans if they’re well beyond trusting Raburn in the lineup (I’m there myself), but the team could still use a boost against left handed pitching (where Raburn has a career .799 OPS).
Raburn’s career has been a rollercoaster ride in Detroit. It seems like every year for the past few years he’s tabbed for a starting role out of spring training only to flame out once the real games begin. But just when he’s counted out for good by the fans and media, he’s come back with and ripped the cover off the ball. Here are his inexplicable career splits: .215/.273/.367 (1st half) and .296/.347/.491 (2nd half). That's "shouldn't be in baseball" and "probably could be an All-Star". The whould thing hardly makes sense.
I sort of pooh-poohed Raburn’s thumb injury when he was placed on the disabled list on August 5, thinking it was more of a move to get him off the roster, but perhaps there was something to it. Or perhaps the DL stint served as an opportunity for Raburn to get away from the game and clear his head. Either way he should be given ample opportunity in his AAA rehab to prove that he deserves another shot to play in the big leagues, and if he does that, he should be allowed to re-join the team.
I wouldn’t argue for his immediate insertion into the everyday lineup, but I would definitely not mind seeing him utilized in a platoon role against lefties. Presuming he’s crushed AAA pitching for a significant number of games.
I couldn’t blame anyone for their skepticism of Ryan Raburn, but let’s root for him to succeed because if he does, it means better things for the Tigers.
Matt Snyder writes about Baseball, Football, and College Basketball. He can be found online as the creator and editor of Forever Faithful, the editor of The Tigers Den, a contributor to Call To The Pen, and a contributor to SideLion Report. He can be reached on Twitter @snyder_matthew.