Found May 08, 2012 on Tigers Weblog:

Post image for Game 2012.29: Tigers at Mariners

Ah, memories! Doug Fister returned to the place where he began his career, was his usual effective self, and went home without a W, like he had so many times in the employ of Nintendo (a 3.33 2011 ERA was only good enough to get him a 3-12 record).

Implosion may be a fair word for the performance of Dotel last night, and with Valverde struggling, it seems the bullpen has now become a weak spot for the team.  But is it really worse than last season?  In 2011, Jose Valverde’s perfect save record overshadowed the fact that the bullpen as a whole just was not very good (remember Ryan Perry?). In fact the Tiger bullpen ERA was 3.93 last season, good for only 11th best in the AL.  The BP WHIP was 1.392, only better than the Twins.  This season so far the bullpen is giving up runs at the rate of 4.25 (10th), with a WHIP of 1.483 (worst).

So while the bullpen is struggling (it’s the W part of the WHIP that is killing them), it wasn’t exactly a strong point last season, other than Valverde’s stellar, and somewhat lucky performance.  And speaking of Valverde:  so far this season he has appeared in 6 non-save situations, vs only 7 save situations.  With the early season offensive struggles, the fact is that there are just fewer save situations this season than last.  Could the lack of a regular save situation routine be affecting Valverde?

Tonight Justin Verlander takes the mound and says bullpen? What’s that?

***

So let’s take a moment to contemplate the season Ryan Raburn is having.

He doesn’t have enough PAs to qualify for the league leaders, but if he did, he would lead the league in lowest BA, lowest OBP, lowest SLG, and of course lowest OPS.  Among all players with at least 75 PA he is by far the worst at .127 / .192 / .169 / .361, easily outpacing Seattle’s Brendan Ryan (hmm, there’s that name again) at .147 / .272 / .240 / .512, and Chicago’s Brent Morel (.182 / .217 / .205 / .422).

Jim Leyland, however, is sticking with him.  For one thing, he’s due.  For another, Leyland says, “This guy has had a pretty good track record the last two or three years.” Well…depends what you mean by track record.  Raburn has been good late in the season, but dependably bad early.

Ryan Raburn’s May track record:

  • 2010 .115 BA .115 OBP .154 SLG .269 OPS 0 BB 7 K
  • 2011 .113 BA .141 OBP .129 SLG .270 OPS 1 BB 22 K
  • 2012 .059 BA .105 OBP .118 SLB .223 OPS 0 BB 9 K

In 114 May plate appearances since 2010, Raburn has 1 BB and 38 K. Yes, that really is a 38-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio you are seeing.

In other news, Brad Penny cut by Japanese team after one start.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Detroit Tigers: Fister is back and the Tigers will be too

One doesn’t have to reach too far back into the history of the Detroit Tigers to find a time when an apparently loaded roster was having trouble getting their act together and playing like the playoff team they were supposed to be. Doug Fister Last season, and July 30th to be more specific, the Tigers were just 56-51 and spinning their wheels near the top of the AL Central. But...

Fister set to join Tigers rotation

DETROIT -- Welcome back, Mr. Fister. After sitting out since leaving his first and only start of the season April 7 with a left costochondral strain, Doug Fister will make his second debut of the season Monday night in Seattle. No one is expecting Fister to do what he did when he arrived from Seattle at the trade deadline last season, which is to go 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA, but the...

Game 2012.30: Tigers at Mariners

15-14, 2 games behind Cle. Boy, last night was fun. On a night when Verlander was far from his best (and apologetic for his on-field behavior), the offense came through and left just enough cushion for Valverde to load the bases on 3 walks (one intentional) before closing out the game. It’s been hashed and rehashed, but the blowpen has become a serious concern. In case you haven’t...

Tigers waste Smyly's strong start

Drew Smyly keeps giving the Detroit Tigers great chances to win games. The offense keeps refusing to take them. Wednesday, Smyly continued the amazing start to his career - allowing one run in six innings - but the slumping offense managed just a single run in a 2-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners. Smyly now has a 1.59 ERA in six career starts, but has only one win to show for it...

Boesch dropped to eighth in Tigers lineup

Managers walk a fine line between conveying a sense of panic and making moves when a change is called for. Jim Leyland didn't want anyone to read anything extra into his dropping of his season-long No. 2 hitter, Brennan Boesch, down to the eight spot in his batting order. He was replaced by Andy Dirks as the man behind leadoff hitter Austin Jackson. "I'm just...

Tigers Take Series from White Sox, Still Have to Address Pitching….

The Detroit Tigers squeaked out a win against the Chicago White Sox yesterday with a 3-1 victory, taking them to 14-13 on the young season. The Tigers 3 runs came on homeruns by Austin Jackson (1st inning), Prince Fielder (3rd inning), and Andy Dirks (8th inning). The win came behind a great pitching performance by Rick Porcello  (3-2) who went 6 1/3 innings with 5 K’s and only...

Fielder homers, Detroit gets 1st win vs. Seattle

SEATTLE (AP) -- Justin Verlander won his 12th straight decision on the road, Prince Fielder homered and the Detroit Tigers raced to an early lead before holding on for a 6-4 win over the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night. Verlander wasn't his sharpest, giving up three runs and seven hits. But Verlander retired nine of his final 10 batters, struck out six and went at least six...

The Omir Santos Game, from a fan in attendance.

The Omir Santos game, from a fan in attendance

Jim Leyland Says MLB Went Too Light on Hamels

Old School Cole Hamels was suspended today for intentionally plunking Bryce Harper in last night’s game. The suspension is for five games. Public responses have been split as to whether Hamels’ actions are “part of the game.” Jim Leyland, manager for the Detroit Tigers, has made his feelings clear. Leyland feels there is no place in baseball for such acts. According...

Tigers-Athletics Preview

A .500 record and alternating wins with losses for nearly two weeks have the Detroit Tigers looking for a breakout series. The Oakland Athletics were relieved to avoid a break of a different kind. The underachieving Tigers face the A's on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game set at O.co Coliseum. Reigning AL Central champion Detroit (15-15) has split its last 10 games...

Nova, Harrison risky starts

Start 'Em Doug Fister (@SEA, @OAK) Making his first since suffering a side strain on April 7, Fister could not ask for a better transitional slate. Not only are Oakland and Seattle near the bottom in runs per game and batting average in the American League, but Safeco Park and O.co Coliseum are two of the more pitcher-friendly premises in the majors. The latter is especially...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.