Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tigers Demote Ryan Raburn; Who Do They Call Up?

 By Sean Gagnier

It finally happened, the Tigers were out of options to deal with the struggling Ryan Raburn and opted to send him down to the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens after Tuesday's game with the Boston Red Sox. Raburn had a very respectable spring training, but once the season started so did Raburn's troubles. When he was demoted on Tuesday he was hitting just .146.

While it has been his style to struggle in the early portion of the season before flipping a switch and playing like an all star after the break, but this season's swoon, coupled with the team's struggles, caused Detroit to pull the leash on their second baseman.

Following the Tigers loss to the Red Sox on Monday, Jim Leyland said that he thought that he may have given Raburn too much leash so far this season and that he would have a much shorter one from then on. Well, it must have been very short.

There was no corresponding roster move made in Toledo after Raburn was optioned down tonight; one is expected to come on Wednesday. Raburn's struggles have been historic for him; the only time his on-base percentage was lower was in 2004 when he played just 12 games with the Tigers and had only 29 at-bat's. Currently, his OBP is sitting at .209 with a on-base percentage plus slugging of .420, which is terrible in the major leagues.

There was speculation abound Tuesday night as to who would be called up to replace Raburn in the Detroit lineup; first instinct was that the Tigers would call on another second baseman in Eric Patterson. But that was quickly shut down when Tigers beat writer Jason Beck tweeted that the player to be called up would not be a second baseman, per Jim Leyland.

That being said, speculation shifted elsewhere that the Tigers would go and bring up a reliever. Only problem with that is that the Tigers already have seven relievers in the bullpen and five starters. By carrying 12 pitchers on staff, Detroit limits itself on the bench.

The Tigers should bring up Mud Hens designated hitter Brad Eldred to replace Ryan Raburn. By recalling Eldred, Detroit would maintain a more normal bench and would add a big bat that they could bring into a game in the late innings. As it stands, if the Tigers need to go to the bench in the late innings they can turn to Danny Worth, Gerald Laird or Don Kelly. Not exactly murder's row is it?

By adding Eldred the Tigers would be able to have pop off the bench that they dont currently possess and because he can't play a position in the field they would have no problem sending him back down to Toledo when Austin Jackson comes off the disabled list.

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