Tag: Ryan Raburn

MLB Spring Training: Has Ryan Raburn Had His Last Chance at a Full-Time Job?

Something tells me that Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland isn’t too enamored with Ryan Raburn.

Not that I can totally blame him. Raburn has never exactly hopped on any opportunity to show that he can be an every day player. Raburn’s early season struggles and mental lapses in defense have made him a player that is polarizing to fans.

Luckily—or perhaps unluckily—Brandon Inge is still on the Tigers’ roster. 

It’s lucky for Raburn because without him, Raburn would surely be the biggest target of public scorn that the Tigers have. It’s unlucky for him because Leyland’s infatuation with the Mendoza line straddling Inge likely means less at-bats for Raburn.

In 2011, Raburn’s story of his career came through once again in full fruition. After the first three months of the season, Raburn was hitting a mere .205 leading to a lot of DNP’s in his game log.

While it seems .205 would be a career year for Brandon Inge, a slow start like that just doesn’t cut it for Raburn, who is obviously depended on for his offense. 

In typical fashion, Raburn once again heated up and was good in the playoffs. Perhaps because of his annual early struggles he’s lost the complete trust of Leyland as a permanent, full-time answer anywhere in the field.

Raburn was thought to be the primary second baseman heading into the season, but it appears that Inge is going to be given every opportunity there and here’s guessing that he will open there to start the season.

The other likely position would be to play Raburn in left field. While he’s as adventurous as an Indiana Jones movie in the outfield, he’s superior defensively to Delmon Young. However, Young hasn’t exactly been quiet about not wanting to be the DH and Leyland doesn’t like to make his players unhappy.

So it’s looking like Raburn is once again finding himself without a home in the field. He’ll still get some reps in the field, though—filling in at second when Inge or Ramon Santiago aren’t there or spelling Young in left—and he’ll fill in at DH whenever Miguel Cabrera or Prince Fielder aren’t there.

This year has the look of a 300 at-bat season for Raburn and then off to free agency. Unless, of course, he can reverse his first half struggles and force Leyland to get him into the every day lineup.


Follow me on twitter @detsportsczar or at www.thesportsczar.com.

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Detroit Tigers: Ryan Raburn’s Awful Performance Should Earn Him a Pink Slip

I come to bury Ryan Raburn, not to praise him.

May as well get that out of the way, forthwith, because I don’t want you under any illusions here. Those who are here to read a balanced, Devil’s advocate piece about Mr. Raburn, the Tigers’ mockery of a second baseman, click away, right now. Hit “back” on your browser. Anything—just get the hell out of here.

Listening to Pat Caputo on 97.1 The Ticket this morning, I was told that the reason the Tigers keep Raburn on the roster is, frankly, because of money. Raburn’s contract, set to pay him about $2 million next season, is signed, sealed and delivered. Caputo said that the choice is simple: keep Raburn or release him and eat the contract.

Let me tell you, it would be the best $2 million the Tigers have ever shoved down their gullets.

This shouldn’t even be an issue. Ryan Raburn isn’t a big leaguer. At least, not now, he isn’t. Certainly, he’s not an everyday second baseman.

I’ve seen some hack jobs and frauds come through Detroit: Nate Colbert, Rob Deer, Bip Roberts, to name a few. But never have I seen a player get as much playing time as Raburn gets with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of—are you sitting down?—66-to-8.

Let me repeat: 66. To. Eight.

That kind of ratio simply cannot be tolerated on any big league player’s stat line—at least not of any player who’s playing for a team that is in playoff contention.

The Tigers are trying to pull a real humdinger if they think they can win even the putrid AL Central with an infield that’s half made up of Raburn and Don Kelly. But this isn’t about Kelly, who currently is the team’s starting third baseman by default. This is about Raburn.

Raburn brings nothing to the table these days. His glove, I’ve written before, was welded, not laced. He doesn’t run particularly well. But it’s his bat that is the most offensive part of his game.

Big league hitters need to make contact, at least some of the time. Home run hitters are prone to the strikeout, but they’re home run hitters. You can live with 150 K’s if the dude is also smacking 30-40 big flies a season.

Raburn, in 185 at-bats this season, is hitting .200. But that’s not the worst of it. There’s the 66-to-8 ratio previously mentioned, and the home run total is a mere five. Raburn has nearly twice as many strikeouts as he has base hits. If he draws a walk, it’s by pure accident or because the pitcher’s arm is dangling off his shoulder.

Raburn is a sucker for the high fastball, above the letters and right about at his eyeballs. He’s also prone to being called out on strikes, and swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. Did I leave anything out?

Raburn is an abomination—a disgrace as a big leaguer. The fans at Comerica Park, who have amazed me by their Job-like patience in the past, have taken to booing Raburn with zeal in recent games.

Manager Jim Leyland says he’s sitting Raburn down tonight against the Seattle Mariners.

“I’m going to get him away from it. Maybe a couple of days,” Leyland told Tom Gage of The Detroit News. “He’s fighting himself. But he also had a couple of borderline pitches that didn’t go his way. That’s what happens when you’re struggling a little bit—which obviously he is.”

Leyland is at his wit’s end with Raburn. The manager even pinch-hit Ramon Santiago for Raburn in the ninth inning of Friday night’s loss to the Mariners, after Raburn had a three-strikeout night.

There’s no good reason that Raburn should occupy a spot on the Tigers roster, including his contract situation. If Gary Sheffield’s monster contract can be devoured, as it was when the Tigers released him just before the 2009 season, then certainly Raburn’s can, too.

The Central Division has never been as ripe for the taking as it is this season. The Tigers’ main competition, the teams we all thought would be their nemeses—the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins—are down in the dumps. The Twins aren’t coming back. The White Sox are still a distance from .500.

The Cleveland Indians are taking their predictable plunge. The Tigers just have to win this division, their first in 24 years.

But they can’t do it while playing a “second baseman” who hits .200 and who strikes out more than eight times for every time that he walks. Oh, why did the Tigers let Placido Polanco walk away from them after 2009?

Forget trading Raburn, if that’s what you’re thinking. Who would have him? He has no trade value. His numbers aren’t written in invisible ink, you know.

The Tigers are trying to hide Raburn, but that’s impossible. No matter where they bat him, a rally inevitably seems to find him—and that rally promptly has its air released from it, replaced by the air of Raburn’s bat swooshing into nothing.

Raburn had a good second half last year. But this is big league baseball, not Little League or high school baseball. This is the big time. Professional sports can be a heartless business, because it’s so predicated on “What have you done for me lately?”

Last year was last year. Those wins don’t get added to this year’s record, and Raburn’s numbers can’t be blended into this year’s stats to dilute their stench.

If the Tigers are serious about winning—and I mean truly serious—then they’ll do things befitting that seriousness. That means making decisions that are based on performance, not contracts or what someone did last year.

Magglio Ordonez is coming back soon from his ankle injury. Speculation is that someone who “doesn’t deserve” to be optioned to Toledo will be lopped off, i.e. Andy Dirks or Danny Worth.

Two things: the Tigers are carrying one more relief pitcher than normal; and why does the optioned player have to be Dirks or Worth?

Ryan Raburn ought to be cut the moment Ordonez sets foot in the Tigers clubhouse, which could be as soon as Monday.

These are the big leagues. And this is a pennant race in the making. The Tigers aren’t bottom-feeders who can afford to wait to see if Raburn will come around. We’re into mid-June, almost. In the big leagues, if you don’t perform, they get rid of you and give someone else a shot.

The Tigers are insulting the intelligence of their fanbase if they think they can trot Ryan Raburn out to second base every day, with his .200 average and 66-to-8 walk-to-strikeout ratio, and call themselves playoff contenders.

Shame on them if they think that. And shame on them if they keep Raburn much longer, whose impersonation of a major league baseball player wouldn’t even last five minutes on the stage at Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle on amateur night.

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2011 Fantasy Baseball: Assembling a Team After Pick 250

ADP data can be one of the most useful items of information you can have at your draft.

Not only will you afford yourself the knowledge of knowing who you can and can’t grab later, but you’ll also find hidden gems that the rest of the fantasy baseball community are letting slip too far.

It is these gems we will focus on in this article as I lay out my All Forgotten Team.


C: Russell Martin (257):

Starting catcher for the Yankees currently going off the board as the No. 19 catcher? I think there is some upside here.

I have Martin as my No. 13 catcher. While I don’t think he’ll put up top numbers, I think he’ll do just fine at pick 257.

Riddle me why Jesus Montero is going off the board before him.

2011 Projection: .260/50/7/45/10

Honorable Mention: Chris Iannetta (266); J.P. Arencibia (302); Jarod Saltalamacchia (353)


1B: Lance Berkman (263):

Sure, he doesn’t deserve the title “Big Puma” anymore, but a 27th round pick?

A starting outfielder batting near Pujols and Holliday will surely be useful, even in shallow leagues.

Berkman could surprise and what’s the risk taking him with your last pick, since most last picks are dropped throughout the season?

2011 Projection: .270/65/15/75/0

Honorable Mention: Freddie Freeman (283); Mitch Moreland (335); Matt LaPorta (339); Kila Ka’aihue (349); Justin Smoak (362); Brett Wallace (372)


2B: Neil Walker (277):

Um, this guy had a pretty decent season last year and now he’s the No. 21 second baseman off the board?

I think there is plenty of upside here to put up numbers comparable to a guy you’d have to take in the first third of the draft. Sure, he’s on the Pirates, but they will score plenty of runs this year.

2011 Projection: .280/75/15/75/5

Honorable Mention: Tsuyoshi Nishioka (298); Dustin Ackley (320); Danny Espinosa (336)


3B: Chase Headley (269):

Not a powerful guy, but I think Chase will be serviceable this season.

The Friars’ lineup is beyond dreadful, but the former second round pick could surprise in the power department this year—his steals are an added bonus.

2011 Projection: 270/75/15/60/15

Honorable Mention: Chris Johnson (296); Edwin Encarnacion (308); David Freese (348)


SS1: Yunel Escobar (318):

It was a rough year last year, but he did hit much better after heading to the Jays.

He has pretty decent plate discipline, so he should always be able to get on base and produce runs. 

The Jays’ lineup will allow him to do so.

2011 Projection: .280/70/10/60/5


SS2: Jhonny Peralta (253): Ok, not a sexy pick, but in that Tiger lineup he should have more than enough chances to produce runs.

2008 was not that long ago when he went .276/104/23/89/3 and he will be just 28-years-old to start the 2011 season.

There is 20+ HR power potential in that bat.

2011 Projection: .255/65/15/85/0


OF: Ryan Raburn (260):

What else must I say about this guy, for crying out loud?

2011 Projection: Just read!

Honorable Mention: Coco Crisp (265); Austin Jackson (272); Nate McLouth (338); David Murphy (354)


SP: Mike Minor (254):

I am predicting Minor to be the NL’s ROY this year, so I am very pleased to see him this far down in drafts. His 12K effort in Wrigley last year was a flash of what he could do. 

A decent K guy with stellar minor league numbers (10.94K/9 & 6.9H/9) spells upside—actually, no it doesn’t.

Just grab the guy. Trust me.

2011 Projection: 12-8/3.75/1.25/160

Honorable Mention: Edinson Volquez (256); Jake Peavy (294); Bud Norris (311); Erik Bedard (340); Michael Pineda (347)


RP: Leo Nunez (316):

The closer in Florida is getting NO LOVE.

He’s averaged 28 saves the past two seasons and last year, he dropped his ERA by half a run.

The eight blown saves aren’t pretty, but hey, it’s the 32nd round!

2011 Projection: 3.50/1.25/70/30

Honorable Mention: Jonny Venters (312); Jon Rauch (388)


Mike is a Senior Writer for 4thandHome.com where this, and other work, can be found. Additionally, he is co-host of The 4th and Home Show on Blog Talk Radio and iTunes.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Detroit Tigers 2011 Preview: Contenders or Pretenders?

The Detroit Tigers begin the 2011 season with the goal to win a championship. However, if they want to be able to claim their first World Series title since 1984, they have some work to do.

For most of the past five years, the team has started strong out of the gate and faded down the stretch, the lone exception being in 2008, when the team became the MLB’s version of Murphy’s Law. This trend of second-half collapses was glaringly obvious this past year, when the Tigers went 7-21 from July 16 to August 13, dropping them from a half-game off the AL Central lead to 10.5 games back and an eventual third place finish at 81-81.

The Tigers generally don’t make big free-agent deals, but they have brought in Victor Martinez and Joaquin Benoit in efforts to shore up the C/DH and relief pitching, respectively. Brad Penny has also signed with the team as a starting pitcher.

Position battles may not be the big story of the spring, as most of the positions will likely keep the incumbent starter, but there is always the chance for someone to step up.

Offensively, the lineup will probably not receive much of an overhaul, at least early on. My Opening Day lineup for the team as of right now is as follows:

  1. Austin Jackson, CF
  2. Carlos Guillen, 2B
  3. Magglio Ordonez, RF
  4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
  5. Jhonny Peralta, SS
  6. Ryan Raburn, LF
  7. Victor Martinez, DH
  8. Brandon Inge, 3B
  9. Alex Avila, C

Peralta and Raburn may rotate between the five and six spot, and they may even move into the two spot at times, if production starts to slip, or if they merit the move.

Defensively, most of the positions are set, barring injuries. Miguel Cabrera has found a home at first base, whereas Carlos Guillen may have trouble holding on at second, if Scott Sizemore shows signs of improvement. Shortstop and third base will feature Peralta and Inge, though Inge’s bat still leaves something to be desired. The outfield will be interesting to watch, as Ryan Raburn and Brennan Boesch may split time, or perhaps one may shift to right to give Ordonez an occasional day off. Austin Jackson did well in center field last year as a rookie and should improve with time.

The starting rotation will likely contain Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, Rick Porcello, Brad Penny and Phil Coke. Barring a new signing, this will likely be the rotation on Opening Day. Joaquin Benoit and Joel Zumaya are the likely setup men coming out of the bullpen, at least if Joel can stay healthy, and Jose Valverde will reprise his role as the closer.

Of course, injuries were a big story last year, so the important thing will be to try and stay healthy, especially down the stretch. The season is a long one, and while injuries are unavoidable, smart play and smart coaching can minimize their impact. I believe the Tigers have the talent to compete and win the division, but time will tell for sure.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

2011 MLB Predictions: 10 Players Who Could Be The Next Jose Bautista

The 2010 MLB season was arguably the most surprising of any in recent memory. From the bevy of no-hitters to the San Francisco Giants and the Texas Rangers meeting in the World Series, there was no shortage of outcomes that would have left fans scratching their heads had they been told how the season would turn out beforehand.

No baseball story line from 2010 garnered more intrigue, however, than that of Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Jose Bautista.

The thirty-year-old journeyman from the Dominican Republic spent six years bouncing around the majors before landing a full-time gig in Toronto, which he promptly parlayed into a monstrous 54-homer, 124-RBI season.

Talk about a breakout performance!

Of course, with Bautista’s story written into the history books, baseball fans are now left to wonder who will be the next no-name player to burst on to the scene.

As such, here are 10 players who, in some way or another, fit the description to be the next Jose Bautista.

Begin Slideshow

Has Ryan Raburn Emerged As a 2011 Fantasy Baseball Sleeper?

Ryan Raburn caught fire towards the end of the season, hitting .340 with 13 HR, 38 RBI and 37 R over the final two months of the season.  Obviously, he’s not going to maintain those types of numbers, especially when you look at the peripherals that led to them:

  • .381 BABIP
  • 20.0% HR/FB

Those two numbers alone will hang over him.  We all know that the BABIP is unrealistic.  As for the HR/FB, there were only seven players to post a HR/FB rate of at least 20 percent in 2010, none of whom were middle infielders.  In fact, Dan Uggla led all middle infielders with a 17.4% mark.

Having established the fact that Raburn will not perform up to the level he set in August and September, that doesn’t mean that he is not going to have value. 

First of all, a lot of his value is going to be dependent on your league format.  Look at the number of games he played by position in 2010:

  • First Base – 1
  • Second Base – 18
  • Third Base – 2
  • Outfield – 100

So, if your league requires 20 games for eligibility, Raburn is not going to be eligible at 2B.  If your format requires less than that, his value increases exponentially.

Now, what exactly can we expect from Raburn in 2011?  It appears that he will open the season as the Tigers’ starting left fielder, barring any other free agent activity.  If he does have everyday at bats, Raburn is certainly going to have value in all formats.

In limited at bats over the best two seasons, he has continued to show good power.  He has 632 AB between 2009 and 2010, hitting 31 HR with 107 RBI and 98 R.  That’s a full season of statistics and they are impressive.

While his power really soared over the final two months in ‘10, overall his HR/FB was just 12.2%.  They say baseball is a game of averages, and that’s why we don’t put too much stock into small sample sizes. You are never as good as your highest high, or as bad as your lowest low. 

What Raburn has shown over the past two seasons is that when given the opportunity, he has the ability to show plenty of power.  Let’s not forget, in 2009 he posted a HR/FB rate of 17.0%.

I’m not about to say that in a full season he is going to hit 30 HR, but it would appear that with 500-550 AB, he easily could hit 20-25 HR.

He has also shown the ability to hit for a good average as a career .274 hitter (with averages of .291 and .280 the past two seasons). 

Couple that type of number with some power and the ability to score and drive in runs in a high-powered offense, and it isn’t going to matter what position he’s playing.

Obviously, he’d have significantly more value as a 2B, but even as an outfielder, a .280 hitter with 25 HR and the potential to go 85/85 is going to be worth owning. 

He’s not going to be an early round selection.  In fact, you very well may be able to get him in the later rounds, drafting him as a bench option. 

The thing is, this is the type of player who can help you win fantasy championships.  There is going to be very little risk, but quite a bit of potential reward.  In other words, he’s a player to target in all formats.

What are your thoughts of Raburn?  Is he a player you are going to target on draft day?  Why or why not?

Make sure to check out some of our 2011 projections:


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Detroit Tigers Updated Projected 2011 Lineup: Motown Must Wait Til’ Next Year

About a month ago, I wrote a prediction for next year’s Detroit Tigers starting lineup. But my how things change. 

The Tigers are still out of the playoff picture, but are currently playing with no distractions and no worries about choking down the stretch. 

Over their last three series with the Chicago White Sox, the Tigers have gone 6-2, dropping the White Sox to nine games back of the AL Central-leading Minnesota Twins.

While some players have dropped off in their performance, others have picked it up and virtually guaranteed starting spots in next year’s team.

Begin Slideshow

Has Ryan Raburn Emerged As a Must Start Fantasy Baseball Option?

Ryan Raburn showed flashes in 2009, hitting 16 HR in just 261 AB.  Yet, in 2010 either the Tigers were unable to find a spot to give him everyday playing time or didn’t think he was capable of producing on an everyday basis.  Through July he had just 161 AB, hitting just two home runs.

Then, in August, he was given an opportunity to play on a daily basis and has exploded.  Just look at what he had done through Sunday:

119 At Bats
.319 Batting Average (38 Hits)
10 Home Runs
25 RBI
25 Runs
1 Stolen Base
.372 On Base Percentage
.630 Slugging Percentage
.346 Batting Average on Balls in Play

You can argue that the BABIP is slightly inflated, which it is.  So, maybe he’s not a .320 hitter, but is that really that big of a problem?  If we assumed he had a BABIP of .321, all else being equal, his average would be .303.

During that span he has posted a strikeout rate of 23.5%, which is similar to his full year (25.7%) and career (25.7%) marks.  In fact, last season he posted a 23.0% strikeout rate, so there is really no reason to think that he can’t replicate what he’s been showing.

What it really boils down to is the power.  Can Raburn continue to hit balls out of the park at his recent stunning rate?

September is too small of a sample size (2 HR in 15 AB), so let’s take a look at August (8 HR in 104 AB) to give us a better idea.

  • Fly ball rate – 50.6%
  • HR/FB – 20.0%

Clearly, it’s hard to buy into both rates, but you have to look at the law of averages, especially in the HR/FB department.  Overall this season his rate is at a very believable 11.7%.  He was so bad early on, playing in spurts like he was, that his August hot streak simply evened things out.

The old adage is that baseball is a game of averages, and Raburn’s streak could simply be the perfect example of that.  The HR/FB is not concerning in the least.

The fly ball rate has been high all year long, currently sitting at 49.5%.  While it is higher then his career mark, it is along the same line as last year’s 47.7%.  For his minor league career, he posted a mark of 44.2%, so there is reason to believe that it is a number that he can maintain, or at least be close to.

With that said, given his eligibility at both 2B and OF, Raburn is a player that fantasy owners should want to grab, if he is still available.  Surprisingly, he is still available in many formats:

  • CBS Sports – owned in 56% of leagues
  • ESPN – owned in 72.9% of leagues
  • Yahoo – owned in 48% of leagues

The numbers he’s posted this season are believable and, from a second baseman, he has the potential to give you plenty of power.  Over the past two seasons he’s had 541 AB, about a full season’s worth, and he has 28 HR and 93 RBI.

Clearly, he should be added for the remainder of this season and if the Tigers finally decide to give him regular playing time in 2011, he should be usable in all formats.  At this point, how could they not?

What are your thoughts on Raburn?  Is what he’s done this season believable?  Do you think he will be fantasy viable in 2011?

Make sure to check out our extremely early 2011 rankings:


Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: The Playoff Push

Whether you are fighting to make the playoffs or sitting atop the standings, it is always good to know a few quiet players making a little noise this year. These guys will help your team down the road and get you that extra stat here and there to bolster your starting lineup come playoff time. After each name is the player’s team, position, and percent owned in CBS Fantasy Baseball leagues to help you go right to the waiver wire and snatch these diamonds in the rough.

Jon Jay,  OF, STL, 33% owned

J.J. the Jet Plane took over outfield duty after Ryan Ludwick was shipped to San Diego. He’s a high average run scorer with a great batter’s eye. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s hitting second in the order right in front of Albert Pujols too. In July, Jay raised his batting average from .318 to .383, and in August he is hitting .317 with 10 runs and four XBH in 11 games. He’s a safe, reliable outfielder that can help in all leagues.

Neil Walker,
2B/3B, PIT,  54% owned
Jose Tabata,
LF, PIT, 41% owned
Pedro Alvarez,
3B, PIT,  62% owned

Yo Ho, Ho, Ho, its a Pirate’s life for me! These three buccaneers have been crushing the ball lately. Although they might already be owned in deeper leagues, Walker, Tabata, and Alvarez are killing the ball and hugely contributing to the blossoming Pittsburgh offense.

Neil Walker—11 R, 2 HR, 19 RBI, 0 SB, .336 AVG
Jose Tabata—23 R, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 4 SB, .327 AVG
Pedro Alvarez—14 R, 7 HR, 23 RBI, 0 SB, .274 AVG

The lines above show their stats for the past 30 days. My advice is, if you need runs, speed, and average, go for Tabata. For power and the most well rounded player, Alvarez is the go to guy. If your team needs hits and a consistent infield bat, add Walker.


Chris Denorfia, CF, SD,  6% owned

One of my favorite sleepers for the rest of 2010. Denorfia, in 31 games through July and August, has 22 runs, eight HR, 21 RBI, four SB, and a .307 AVG. Even with San Diego’s crowded outfield, Denorfia seems to play everyday at all outfield positions. He shows no signs of stopping, and finds ways to continually be an offensive threat even in Petco Park. With San Diego in the heat of a playoff race, it only helps this Padres player the rest of the year.


Felix Pie, LF,  BAL, 20% owned

It’s been a rough year for Baltimore, but Lord and Savior Buck Showalter seems to have turned not only the club around, but outfielder Pie as well. Felix has shown great signs of power, speed, and average since the Showalter Revolution.

Whether it’s a coincidence or not, it’s hard to ignore Pie’s recent numbers, hitting .328 in August with two HR, 10 RBI, and three SBs. Buyer beware though, Pie hits .177 lifetime against lefties. Depending on your league, Pie is a great pick up, but may be an even better spot starter when facing RHP.

To the skeptics out there who believe it’s a fluke, Pie is a career .288 hitter in August and September combined.

Omar Infante, 2B/3B/SS/OF, ATL,  47% owned

If you need a versatile bat in your lineup who can hit for average and swipe some bags, go get Infante while he’s still available. No matter what, the Braves always seem to find a place for him on the field each night. Infante hit .429 in July and is hitting .348 in August. Don’t expect power or RBI numbers though. Even with Martin Prado’s return from the DL and Atlanta’s Derrek Lee addition, Infante should continue to see playing time in a productive Braves lineup.

* Ryan Raburn, 2B/OF, DET,  16% owned

Before reading, notice the asterisk. Sure, Raburn is a sleeper, but I happen to think it’s somewhat fluky. If you have the room and the need for power, I say go ahead and grab him. Four HR in a five game span seems shaky though. Like I said, be careful, ride the streak and soak up Raburn’s surge, but the first sign of a power outage should send him to your bench or even back to free agency. Treat him as a Stash-and-Trash, or heck, trade him and sell high while he still has value.

Just snoozing—

Angel Sanchez, SS, HOU, 2% owned

Danny Valencia, 3B, MIN,  10% owned

Brooks Conrad, 2B/3B, ATL, 3% owned

Chris Snyder, C, PIT, 24% owned

You can follow Tyler Becker on Twitter at @fantasyprodigy for fantasy questions, advice, or just to say hello! He attends New York University for Sports Management… it’s the closest major they had to fantasy sports.

Who are you picking up off the wire for your run to the playoffs?
Leave a comment and let us know, or reply to us on twitter @TheFantasyFix

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Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

How Does Ryan Raburn Still Have a Job with the Detroit Tigers?

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. 

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