Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 6/15/12
DETROIT -- Ryan Raburn is fortunate he's right-handed. Otherwise, he might not be back with the Tigers at this point. For the second straight day, Raburn was in the lineup, this time playing left field and batting seventh. That had a lot to do with the fact that Colorado Rockies starter Jeff Francis is a left-hander. Manager Jim Leyland admitted that Raburn wasn't tearing it up at Triple-A Toledo, but he fills a role for the team now. "He wasnt doing a lot, but were just starving so much for a right-hand hitter," Leyland said. "I mean, if you look at the bench when (Danny) Worth plays, theyre all lefties, except for (Bryan) Holaday. "It fits our team better right now, but hes not going to play every day. He might play against these lefties, but hes not going to play every day unless something would pop, and hed get going real good." In the Tigers' 5-3 victory Thursday, Raburn went 2-for-3 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. Leyland said he couldn't guarantee that Raburn would continue to produce like that, but said he's someone the Tigers can use, especially when Andy Dirks and Alex Avila return from the 15-day disabled list as both are left-handed. "You can take him from second to the outfield and not have to use another player, as opposed to some of the other stuff we had to do," Leyland said. "It would be perfect for us if hes good and he is good, but he just hasnt done well but it would be really ideal for us if hes good, because that gives us flexibility." Leyland noted that Raburn was booed in Chicago until he got the RBI double. But he said he didn't put much stock in fans having a doghouse for certain guys. "It wasnt too long ago, one of the most popular players that ever played here was getting booed," Leyland said. "So it doesnt have anything to do with Ryan Raburn; people just get (mad) when you dont win. Thats what happens. "In both these cases, I dont think Ingey (Brandon Inge) or Ryan Raburn either one did anything to stir that up. They just didnt perform well." DIRKS 'NOT DOING TOO GOOD' When asked about the status of outfielder Andy Dirks, who has been on the DL since May 31 with right achilles tendinitis, Leyland was succinct: "Hes not doing too good." Athletic trainer Kevin Rand said Dirks went to see Dr. Chris Zingas, a foot and ankle specialist, Friday morning. Dr. Zingas confirmed it was just tendinitis. "We're going to move in a different direction, treatment-wise, right now to kind of see if we can spur him over the hump," Rand said. "He's worked very hard. He's done all his treatment, all his therapy work. He's done all his strength and range of motion work. "He's able to execute quite a few moves, but there's still a sticking point there and we're trying to get to the bottom of that." Dirks was eligible to come off the DL Friday but obviously did not. AVILA BACK TO WORK Catcher Alex Avila, on the DL since June 6 with a right hamstring strain, returned to baseball on Friday. Avila, who did not go on the trip, was told not to do anything for a week. "We're evaluating him today as far as where his hamstring is at, basically going by what he's telling us and how well he feels," Rand said. "He's going through agilities. He's doing some running. He's going to swing the bat. "We'll get a feel for him from an activity perspective." Avila, who did two batting-practice sessions Friday, was happy to be doing something -- anything. "I'm hitting and throwing -- all the stuff I would normally do before a game -- and depending on how it feels, I'll do some catching (Saturday) and we'll take it from there," he said. Avila said he didn't have a lot of fun sitting home on the couch watching his team play without him. "It was driving me crazy, really," he said. "I definitely have a better appreciation for Skip and the coaches that have to sit and watch. "I was more nervous watching than I ever have been playing just because I wanted them to win." Avila will be eligible to come off the DL June 21, but Leyland isn't counting on it. "Wed like to shoot for Pittsburgh, but I dont know if thats going to be possible or not," Leyland said. "A lot of positive stuff has to happen before that." Avila said he's aiming to return for the Pirates series next weekend. FISTER READY TO GO Doug Fister, who has been on the DL since May 29 with a left side strain, is ready to start Saturday against the Rockies. Since it's his second stint on the DL, reporters asked how Fister felt compared to the first time he came off the DL. "I feel much better now," Fister said. "When I'm on the mound, I don't feel anything and again, not reserving anything." Fister said he didn't feel like he rushed back the first time and doesn't expect a recurrence of the injury. "We're going out there, going to pitch like we would just any other day," Fister said. "No hesitations. If there's a problem, we'll address it. We're not anticipating any problems."
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Vince Young attempting to trademark ‘Make Vince Great Again’

Report: Mavericks get Nerlens Noel in trade with 76ers

NASCAR announces four drivers will lend their voices to 'Cars 3'

Draymond Green video game highlights his groin-shot past

Paul George trade unlikely despite interest from Lakers and Celtics

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: David Ortiz could join Red Sox broadcast team this season

Report: Knicks, T-Wolves working on Rose-Rubio trade

Rick Pitino calls heckling UNC fan ‘coward,’ says it was not a student

Winston criticized for giving sexist speech to schoolchildren

Cubs close door on Sammy Sosa reunion after bizarre comments

Rick Pitino restrained from going after North Carolina fan

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

Box Score 2/23: Gillon's buzzer-beater blast for the win

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

Box Score 2/22: Not everyone is happy with the new intentional walk rule

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

The top 10 MLB third basemen heading into spring training

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win the MVP award

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker