Monday, August 17, 2009

Ryan Raburn At Third Base = Recipe For Disaster

I know what Tigers manager Jim Leyland is trying to accomplish by playing Ryan Raburn at third base to spell Brandon Inge, but it is a recipe for disaster.
Raburn, an outfielder throughout much of his college career, signed with the Tigers as a third baseman. He was moved, however, to second base after making 62 errors in just 168 games at third base in his first three minor league seasons. He can't play third base. It's that simple. He has four errors in five games there this year - and it isn't a surprise.
Thing is, Leyland doesn't have many options. Inge is ailing. He does need to rest his knees occassionally.
Ramon Santiago, the Tigers utility infielder, has played third base just seven times his entire professional career. In five games there in the minor leagues, and just 15 chances (in 2005), he made two errors. Not much of an option there, either, it seems. The Tigers have no viable options at Triple-A or Double-A, as well.
As is, Inge's balky knees better hold up or the Tigers are in trouble. They better be looking for a third baseman with a respectable glove they can get through waivers - at least for a stretch run in September.
This is a team that wins on pitching and defense. That goes out the door with a hole like that at third base. Saw the vivid proof of it Sunday.

Random Thoughts

- In the NFL, talent is described as size, strength, speed and durability. It's a rough league. The demands physically on players are enormous. It's not a good sign early Lions draft picks Louis Delmas and Brandon Pettigrew spend so much practice time on the sideline, nor did not see action in the team's first preseason game Saturday vs. Atlanta. Are they durable? Can they hold up?

- Tiger Woods is golf. If he wins or is in contention, it's a good week for the sport and the PGA. When he isn't in contention, nor doesn't participate in a given tournament, it's a bad week. Golf has become that simple.

- Of all the towns I didn't expect Michael Vick to land, Philadelphia was at the head of the list. Talk about stirring up a hornet's nest in a city that thrives on controversy. Now this will be interesting.

My column in Monday's Oakland Press about the declining reputation of Big Ten football. Has it ever been worse?



Anonymous Jeff H. said...


Can the Tigers bring Don Kelly back and get rid of Marcus Thames? At least Kelly can play some 3B to spell Inge and put another LH stick on the bench. Thames has 29 RBI all year with 13 HR, so he's only knocked in 16 people not named Marcus Thames all season long. Can you really live with that from a guy that hits in the 3 or 4 spot? I'll take some speed and "D" over a perceived HR threat.

1:06 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Jeff. H,
That would be a possiblity, but who do you send down? Raburn has had many clutch hits for the Tigers this and is a valuable backup in the outfield.

2:45 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

any ideas who the tigers could grab via a waiver deal?

3:35 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, I agree this is a good move in getting Huff. I thought the Tigers were going to sign him after the 06 season. Now the Tigers can get 4 to 6 lefties in the line-up against right- handers. I would also put Huff ahead of Santiago at 3B too. I would also put Santiago ahead of Raburn. Raburn is an outfielder, but he should be playing ahead of Thames and Maggs. At least Raburn has some range. Thames is strictly a DH. Let Maggs play against lefties and pinch hit. Jacobson’s stats look like he would have been at AA next year but the Tigers can easily replace him probably with a pitcher from the June draft. Good work by DD. DD does his best work when he is patience.

6:19 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

By the time I got to comment here the Huff deal already happened - but on the Tiger topic - the Woods one - I hear what your saying about how simple the PGA has become.

That is why Y E Yang coming from behind to catch Tiger - and seal the deal Tiger style by nailing a hybrid 3 from an awful angle barely clearing a tree - finding a gap in the top of it - and making the ball stop 5-7 feet from the pin - was such a HUGE PGA deal.

The PGA has been waiting so desperately to see a guy stuff an amazing shot on the 18th hole of a Major event Tiger was supposed to win.

Think about it Pat, Yang had no reason to do anything daring there. He needed to find the green and get up and two putt. But this cat - Yang - sticks one of the greatest shots I have seen (and Ive seen a few) - when he really could have - should have - played it safe.

He didnt blink - he got it done. And as the 114 ranked player in the PGA - you know he made some other players think.

Tiger can be caught in a Major - and beaten by great play. And Yang finally did it.

This was a turning point in the PGA - and will also inspire Woods to go get even better.

The PGA is not so simple since yesterday.


6:55 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Jeff H,
With Huff, it's moot point now. Raburn has done a lot for the team right now and would have had to go back to Triple-A in that spot probably. Tough call at time.

12:36 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Huff fits in perfectly into the Tigers scheme of things. Type of move that could put them over the top.

12:37 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I agree with you about Lang's shot. It was truly brilliant, but didn't get nearly the same attention as if Tiger hit it. Can you imagine if Tiger were the one to pull off the shot? You might have some people calling it one of golf's all-time great shots - or something. His name makes the Tour. The last Buick Open was great because he was in it. So was 2007. In 2008, the tournament was a dud because he didn't play in it.

12:40 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was very interesting for me to read that article. Thank author for it. I like such themes and anything that is connected to this matter. I would like to read more soon.

12:20 AM 

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