The San Diego Zoo—that would be a good place to leave Ryan Raburn. He would probably fit in better there than on a major league baseball field.
Notice where the ball is in this picture. It is not in his glove. Notice Raburn is off balance. He probably fell down right after this photo was snapped.
Tiger fans have gotten used to this sight. It goes something like this: Raburn gets a bad jump on a ball, partially recovers, falls short, and then falls down trying to make a play on the ball.
It is rather pathetic that we have all gotten used to this sight. This is supposedly a major league ballplayer we are talking about.
Does anyone else out there cringe when Raburn is playing the outfield and a ball is hit at him? Go on, raise your hand and admit it.
Last year against the Indians, I watched him run face first into the outfield wall and drop the ball after getting a bad jump and slipping to start the play.
Granted, Raburn had a breakout season last year. He hit 16 HRs and drove in 45. Let us look past that to evaluate it for what it really is.
He had a breakout campaign at age 28. He hit 16 HRs, but he only had 261 at-bats. Had he played a full season, undoubtedly he would have hit a cold spell and regressed. Last season was the only year in his career he had value over a replacement level player.
Additionally, his fielding was awful.
Raburn is 29 now. He's hitting .204 this season after a three-hit game raised his average from .184. His fielding is still awful.
I wouldn't hire him to be a ball boy, much less pay him $438,000 to occupy space on the 25-man roster.
Last year was it for him, his one shining moment. He was a one-year wonder.
The wonder is gone.
We don't wonder anymore. We know the errors are coming, as are the strikeouts, especially with runners in scoring position.
How is it this guy still has a job? Oh yeah, I almost forgot. Jim Leyland absolutely loves this guy for some reason. I think Jim needs to have another smoke and take a look at the stats.
Raburn somehow still has a job, even though his hitting is on level with what Adam Everett produced this year. Everett was released. He hit poorly but only had one error in 31 games at short.
What does Raburn have going for him? The love of his manager.
I'm sorry, but that doesn't win division titles.
However, I hear the zoo is looking for someone new.