Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Catfight: Ryno vs. Ramon

With Daniel Schlereth being hurt/in the minors/whatever his situation is, and Brandon Inge reinventing himself as a .190 hitting homer run hero in Oakland, Ryan Raburn has been left as the biggest scapegoat on the current Detroit Tigers team. Jose Valverde, Octavio Dotel, and Delmon Young have kindly taken up some of Schlereth and Inge’s slack, but poor Ryno continues to feel the brunt of the fans' wrath.

As one of the two Raburn supporters left on the planet (with Alexandra Simon of Cats With Bats being the other) I feel the need to try and justify Ryan’s place in the lineup. And Ramon Santiago seems to be the choice of the fanbase to replace him since any backup is the usually the most popular player on a struggling team. See pro football.

This calls for a Catfight.

1. Career Tiger Numbers

Raburn: 524 games, .262/.317/.442/.759, 53 HR, 206 RBI, 101 OPS+
Santiago: 666 games, .249/.314/.343/.657, 25 HR, 168 RBI, 78 OPS+

Advantage: Raburn, by a decent margain.

2. Current Numbers

Raburn: 83 PA, .135/.207/.176/.383, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 8 OPS+
Santiago: 48 PA, .159/.208/.205/.413, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 15 OPS+

Advantage: There are no winners here.

3. Reputation

Raburn: Second half superstar.
Santiago: Sneaky.

Advantage: Raburn. He eventually hits. Ramon eventually gets a hit.

4. Defense

Raburn: Not as bad as everyone says.
Santiago: Not as good as everyone says.

Advantage: Santiago. As much as I think Ryan’s bad D gets blown out of proportion, I still hear faint circus music in my head whenever the ball is hit to him.

5. Popular Misconception

Raburn: Name is spelled “Rayburn”.
Santiago: Has never been given a chance by Detroit despite playing in 666 games and 2077 plate appearances.

Advantage: Santiago. It’s a freaking miracle that he somehow still has people convinced that he can be a good offensive player despite 9 years of grounding out weakly to second.

6. Age/Appearance

Raburn: 31 years old, looks like a balding redneck.
Santiago: 32 years old, looks like a teenager entering puberty

Advantage: Santiago…the lucky bastard.

7. Upside

Raburn: Has shown that he can carry a team when hot.
Santiago: Has none. What you see is what you get.

Advantage: Ryno. He will hit eventually.

8. Downside

Raburn: Will get approximately 15 hits the entire first half.
Santiago: Has none. What you see is what you get.

Advantage: Ramon. Not as frustrating.

9. Don Kelly Rule: Number of Positions Played in MLB

Raburn: 6 (1B, 2B, 3B, LF, CF, RF)
Santiago: 3 (2B, SS, 3B)

Advantage: Raburn. Jim Leyland loves options. And Raburn can be switched to the OF late to get Delmon/Boesch’s terrible gloves out of the game.

10. English

Raburn: Can’t understand him (hillbilly).
Santiago: Can’t understand him (second language).

Advantage: Push.


It’s 4-4-2, so technically it’s a tie. And if you think about it, everyone is crying about the production of the #9 hitter here (#6 when JL feels the need to mess with his haters). This is not the current problem in Detroit. Getting Young/Boesch/Avila/Peralta to hit and the fixing of bullpen issues are the real problems here. Not which guy is producing at second base.

So lay off Raburn a bit, will ya? He is what he is. The same applies to Santiago. Scapegoats are fun to have, but I hope Tiger fans eventually take their heads out of the sand and start focusing on the things that actually matter.


Nicole said...

Not sure how Raburn's glove is any better, if not worse than Boesch's.

H2OPoloPunk said...

Nice work Rogo.

SRogo said...

Fair enough. But Raburn's range and arm are superior to Brennan's.

Jdornberg said...

Don't forget speed and arm strength. Ryno wins those IMHO

Julian Miller said...

It's becoming increasingly difficult though to keep putting RabInge out there though, justifying it on how maybe in 2 months he'll hit .300 for a month.

Greenbaymarc said...

Love ya as a fellow Tiger fan, and your blog is one of my favorite things, but your love of Raburn is the next best thing to absurd.  If you have ever read the fielding bible by Dewan, Raburn is the worst 2B in the majors by a fair amount, and even worse(is that possible) the times he has played 3B.  He is "passable" in LF, but left there too long he will manage to screw something up.   His overall numbers are simply not good enough, no matter how hot he has been in 2nd halves.   Bad ballplayer overalll

Kevin C. said...

Ryno will start raking soon, he always starts slow, this is hardly newsworthy. There can't honestly be people clamoring for Santiago, I haven't heard so, I must be living under a rock.

Jeff S said...

The problem with Raburn is a simple one -- looking at his 1st half/2nd half splits over the past 3 complete seasons, there is simply no way that you can justify running him out there 4 or 5 times a week in April, May and June to produce the horrible offensive numbers that he does.  It's not Raburn's fault, it's simply a fact...

B Ward said...

Just be glad you don't hear them... They are out there in drones. Heard some coworkers talking about it this very morning. smh

B Ward said...

You forgot "Tongue manipulation". Advantage : Raburn.

Nate Cornejo said...

Gotta cool it with the Raburn love... nobody who hits .130 should be trotted out as an everyday player, based on his reputation that he will eventually begin to hit.. can't just throw away half of the season in hopes that the other half of the season he will be good.. Jim gives him the biggest pass on the team.. He gives Raburn a bigger pass than he gave Inge

Santiago is what he is, but Tigers could at least use a guy in the lineup who could maybe try to play some small ball even though Jimmy hates small ball. Santiago is a great bunter and solid fielder. In short, he is a better second baseman than Raburn.. so if neither guy is going to hit very well I'll take the better fielder and guy who can do the little things in the lineup when the Tigers are struggling to score

The other problem is that Raburn takes plate appearances from Dirks who is having a great year. Leyland treats Dirks like a fourth OF because he likes to play Raburn out there. Until Dirks begins to cool down, he should be playing every day.

Spockmaster said...

Just to throw this out there in support of Ryno, his current BABIP (batting avg on balls in play) is a paltry .175 right now.  The normal average is about .300, and Ryno's career avg is .320.

Basically, he has hit into a huge amount of bad luck this year.  Yes he still looks horrible at times, but a .175 babip is unsubstainable.  As it goes up, so will his production.  Its inevitable.  And when he heats up, everyone calling for his head now will be mad then if Leyland sits him despite being hot (probably with the Troll King leading the way).  Its just as inevitable as Ryno heating up.

Besides, like Rogo said, Raburn's lack of production is way down on the list of our problems right now.  Way down.  We're not scoring only 3.6 runs per game since the Boston series just because Raburn isnt hitting.

BTW, Dirks didnt play last night because of his ailing hamstring, not because of any other reason (though I wouldnt have doubted him being out because of the L/L matcup either).

Jimmy Bell said...

I never thought Boesch's range was bad, until this season. Watching him basically walk into the corner to pick up balls and toss them in for a stand up triple is getting rather annoying.

Jay Hathaway said...

You forgot the one stat that is the reason for Detroit fans' preference of Sneaky:

Scrappiness percentage:

Santiago: .840
Raburn: -.300