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Odd move: Tigers place Ryan Raburn on 15-day disabled list

Sep 13, 2012, 6:18 PM EDT

Ryan Raburn AP

This being September, there’s absolutely no advantage to be gained by placing a player on the 15-day disabled list. Yet that’s what the Tigers did Thursday, placing Ryan Raburn on the DL with a strained right quad.

Typically, teams only use the 60-day disabled list in September, as stashing a player there frees up a 40-man roster spot. Putting a player on the 15-day DL doesn’t do anything except guarantee that said player can’t be used for 15 days. Which would seem to be precisely what Dave Dombrowski wanted to accomplish here.

Raburn is hitting a horrendous .171/.226/.254 with one homer and 12 RBI in 205 at-bats. He’s also a subpar defensively at second base, the position he’s played more frequently this season. So it’s easy to see why upper management apparently doesn’t want him anywhere near the field.

Manager Jim Leyland, however, had given him two starts since he was brought back from the minors on Sept. 1. He was 1-for-7 with a walk in those two games, both Tigers losses. Overall, he was 1-for-8 this month.

The move was made retroactive to Sept. 11, so Raburn will be eligible to return on Sept. 26. However, his Tigers career is most likely finished. He figures to be non-tendered this winter after such a disappointing season.

  1. historiophiliac - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:30 PM

    Did you miss Brandon Inge’s career in Detroit? We kept that dead weight forever…and Leyland kept playing him. It is painful to this fan that there is such a disparity of talent on this team. You can be sure, though, that Raburn will make a terrible reappearance sometime before the end of the season, and the fans will again hit their heads against the wall.

  2. takingbovadasmoney - Sep 13, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Odd move? Just another day in the life of Jim Leyland and Dave Dombrowski.

  3. ezthinking - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    Insurance on his contract? Payment always requires the player be on the DL to cover it.

    Remember the Bagwell fiasco where the insurance company wouldn’t pay if Bagwell retired even though he couldn’t lift his arm to scratch his ass? Houston had to bring him to Spring Training to make an ass of himself before the insurance company would pay.

    Regardless, IF there is insurance, the Tigers should want to avoid paying Rayburn anything they don’t have to.

    • dondada10 - Sep 13, 2012 at 7:40 PM

      Good point. That’s probably it.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Sep 13, 2012 at 10:14 PM

      Nice thinking. I really think this move was made more along the lines of philliesblow’ conversation there, but I can’t completely rule out the insurance possibility. In general, insurance policies in baseball are only taken out for bigger contracts and only cover major 60-day DL-type injuries.

  4. rexbeatsoff2feet - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:04 PM

    We have a theory in Detroit…. That Raburn has some compromising photos of Leyland, that caused him to stay in the lineup.

    • historiophiliac - Sep 13, 2012 at 10:20 PM

      Coincidentally, I always said that Inge must have had a picture of Leyland fucking Dombrowski’s cat or something. (Seriously, hitting .180 during spring training & pulled his groin and they kept a place for him?)

  5. philliesblow - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:14 PM

    Pretty simple explanation for this. I secretly taped this conversation in Leyland’s office.

    JL: “Dave, I’m giving Raburn a start in left tonight. I think he can run into one off the lefty Sale”.

    DD: “Jim, that’s a bad idea. You realize we are trying to win the division and Raburn’s hitting under .180, dont’ you”?

    JL: “I’ve got a hunch on this. He’s always hit well in Chicago.”

    DD: “I can’t let you do this Jim”.

    JL: “You can’t stop me, Dave”.

    DD: “Jim, I’ll be back in a few minutes”.
    *
    *
    *
    DD: “Jim, I just put Raburn on the DL. Start Garcia in left”.

  6. georgewashingtonsghost - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:31 PM

    LOL Phillies! Funniest comment I’ve read this week!

  7. lorddarkhelmet - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:37 PM

    @phillies I honestly hope that is exactly how it went!

  8. dawgpoundmember - Sep 13, 2012 at 8:59 PM

    I pretty sure that’s how it went down but JV was in the room also and told DD thanks for the run support.

  9. erikh24 - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    I think there’s a rule whereby if a post-season roster eligible player is on the DL come post season, it opens the door for a player who would otherwise not be post-season roster eligible to be allowed on. (Got it?) So if Detroit’s called up a kid in September that they’d potentially like to have on the squad come playoff time, this move would make sense. That is, if I’m not making this up.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Sep 13, 2012 at 10:10 PM

      You’re right and that could be a valid reason for putting a guy on the DL in another circumstance. It doesn’t apply in this case since Raburn wasn’t up on Aug. 31 and thus wasn’t on the provisional playoff roster.

  10. Detroit Michael - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    On August 31, Raburn was on the 15-day disabled list. By placing him back on the 15-day disabled list, the Tigers can name Raburn to the play-off roster (if they make it) and then name any player who was in the organization on that date as Raburn’s replacement. Erikh24 is correct, in my opinion.

    This is not the most questionable use of the 15-day disabled list this month. TEX, OAK, TOR and PHI (twice) have placed players on the 15-day disabled list. TOR was not likely thinking about play-off rosters. I think the explanation is that in 2011 MLB announced that they wanted teams to keep using the 15-day disabled list to compile accurate DL statistics and some teams are obeying that request.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Sep 13, 2012 at 11:38 PM

      Yep, you’re right. I thought he was in the minors. So that explains the move.

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