Sunday, July 10, 2011

Tigers apparently eyeballing Cubs' Baker and why there might be hope for Ryan Raburn

The Tigers apparently are eyeballing Chicago Cubs utilityman Jeff Baker. It would make sense. His best position is second base, but he has played extensively at third base in his career. He is a solid .275 career hitter (.306 this season) and has experience in a pennant race with Colorado in 2007. He is an arbitration eligible player, who is making $1.1 million on a one-year contract this year. He will not be eligible for free agency after this season. His agent is uber-agent Scott Boras, which might scare off some clubs, but not the Tigers, who have had many successful dealings with Boras in the past.

- Evidence strongly suggests Ryan Raburn, a source of constant consternation for Tiger fans this season, is a better second-half hitter than first-half hitter.
His career batting average in the first half of seasons is .223. It's .291 in the second half.
In 2010, he hit .208 in the first half and .315 in the second half. In 2009, he hit .269 in the first half and .310 in the second half.
Raburn is hitting .286 in July.



Blogger Fred Brill said...

The question isn't Raburn's bat so much as his glove, Book. I would be screaming to hit the ball to second. We don't have a way for Raburn to DH. He doesn't fit.

I'd keep Raburn over Inge though. I don't think Brandon will make it to September.

As for Baker - he seems to be talked about as a hot commodity - but the list of teams looking at him seem almost as long as Reyes. A K-Mart version if you will - with no rainchecks.

So with Baker - you would have to look at him at 3rd I guess - and keep platooning Santiago and Raburn.

I wonder how many votes Rhymes got on the all star ballot?

12:33 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pat, let's not overlook the fact that Raburn's second-half stats last year - which led to his contract - were achieved for the most part when the Tigers were out of contention and the pressure to succeed in a division race was not there.

7:41 AM 
Blogger Larry Baker said...

Just read that Omar Infante is supposedly available. Ironic, no?

8:02 AM 
Anonymous MJK said...

Pat, let's put Raburn's stellar second-half stats last year in perspective. Most of his success took place when the Tigers were out of contention.

8:10 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
Baker would allow the Tigers to mix and match more in the infield. He is also a good outfielder. Very versatile.

9:11 AM 
Anonymous Chief said...

Raburn hit in 2009 when the Tigers were in a pennant drive.

9:13 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Yeah, but you can't overlook what Raburn did in the second half in 2009 when he was one of the Tigers better hitters the second half in a tight pennant race. He hit .327 in August and .355 in September that year.

9:13 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Larry Baker,
Not sure if they will move Infante. Marlins are at a point where they are thinking about keeping their players because they move into a new stadium next season. He'd definitely help the Tigers. He's become a solid player.

9:15 AM 
Anonymous Chief said...

I think the guy they faced yesterday, Jeff Francis, would be a cheap #5 starter type.

10:50 AM 
Anonymous Northville Dave said...

While looking at the Cubs, how about Aramis Ramirez? It's a contract year for him and the Cubs have no reason to keep him; they are in such a long-term rebuilding. Any other parts we can salvage from the Northsiders? Ryan Dempster? By the way, Dontrelle Willis pitched yesterday for Cincinnati. 6IP, 2ER. Can we get our money back?

4:26 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fair enough about Raburn's August and September 2009 averages, Pat, but he was hardly a regular. In the 56 games the Tigers played in those 2 months, Raburn only had 100official ABs (with 33 hits).

7:01 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Baker looks like a good complementary player, the kind Dombrowski normally goes after at the trade deadline. Definitely an improvement from Inge at this point.

As for Inge, it's looking like his career is over. He's never been a great hitter, but he seems completely lost at the plate. He's so bad right now, I would not be surprised if he was released before the end of the season.

10:57 PM 
Anonymous Rudy said...

Oddly enough, I believe Baker is who COL traded to the Cubs for Al Alburquerque.

1:33 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fair enough, Pat, about Raburn's August and September 2009 batting average, but keep in mind that he was not a regular back then as he only had 100 official ABs in the 56games the Tigers played in those months.

5:28 AM 
Anonymous woody said...

it'll be interesting to see what the Tigers are willing to give up to make a playoff run.

Oliver and Schlereth seem most likely to go. still have plenty of time to develop and not likely to help the cause much rest of this season. maybe Dirks/Wells/Raburn, perhaps Worth or Perry...beyond that I suppose some prospects in the low minors.

not expecting anything major considering what they have to offer in return.

12:12 PM 

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