Found May 10, 2013 on The Detroit Sports Site:
PianoWow, Flickr When the upstart Cleveland Indians visit the Detroit Tigers tonight for the first time in 2013, their lineup will be packing a very familiar, polarizing face. Ryan Raburn, who struggled to stick in Detroit’s lineup and often failed at the plate and in the field when he did, seems to have completely rejuvenated his career early this season. A change of scenery was all Raburn needed, and the player who struggled to consistently hit with the Tigers has blasted out to a .329 start with four home runs and 11 RBI, numbers which certainly grab the eye early this season. What’s all of this mean? Count on Raburn to be slowly trotting the bases this weekend at Comerica Park at least once. Count on perhaps one improbable sliding catch and a few clutch hits. After all, the first law of the baseball universe seems to be released players will always find more success elsewhere, and if the teams should meet, it often happens at Detroit’s expense. How else can you explain Jason Grilli, a former Tiger pitcher assigned to mop up duty in middle innings having an astounding 13 saves and a 1.26 ERA? Those numbers would look mighty nice at the back end of Detroit’s bullpen now. Last season’s version of Grilli was Fernando Rodney, who collected 48 saves with a miniscule 0.60 ERA. Shockingly, Rodney collected American League comeback player of the year honors and was an all-star last season. It was nothing but stressful to watch each pitch during their time in Detroit. At this rate, the Tigers probably shouldn’t release anybody else considered a borderline talent. Raburn’s potential success in this scenario, though, has a chance to sting the most. When he was inserted into the Tigers’ lineup, he never asserted himself with the right mix of consistent hitting and defense. Many badly wanted to believe in Raburn every season, but after so many missteps, it became impossible, leading to the popular decision to finally send him packing this past offseason. Raburn, of course, could always eventually come back down to earth statistically. His career statistics suggest that this uncommonly hot start is merely an aberration. Raburn’s best year in Detroit across the board was a 16 home run, 45 RBI season in which he hit .291, not inspiring much confidence that he can stay hot forever in 2013. There’s always one player who exceeds his normal career expectations from April to May, and certainly, Raburn would seem to be the best candidate for this in 2013. Tigers’ fans will have to hope Raburn’s downward slide begins in earnest this weekend against Detroit’s much hotter pitching staff. Otherwise, they’ll have another reason to say “here we go again” as it results to a Tiger reject finding great success elsewhere after flaming out in the Motor City. Naturally, everyone will also begin to lament what his statistics may look like in the lineup. In this case, Raburn’s release could become the most painful situation of all, especially if his success comes at Detroit’s expense in just a few of the 18 times the Indians and Tigers will play this summer. Max DeMara is a senior editor at The Detroit Sports Site. You can find him on Twitter @SportsGuyTheMax
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Tigers pound Tribe, snap win streak

With a 10-4 win in the opener of their weekend series with the Indians on Friday night in Detroit, the Tigers handed Cleveland a sharp dose of reality and snapped the Tribe’s four-game winning streak in the process. Led by starter Max Scherzer and resident Detroit sluggers Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder, the Tigers 

Tigers draw first blood, throttle Indians 10-4

Detroit -- Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera both slugged home runs off Cleveland starter Corey Kluber as the Tigers beat the Indians 10-4. After Cleveland held a 1-0 first-inning lead, the Tigers plated three runs in the bottom of the second and never looked back. With runners on second and third with one out, Alex Avila doubled to deep right, giving Detroit a 2-1 lead. After another...

Cleveland Indians talk – trying not to talk attendance, Swisher’s intangibles, Francona and Ubaldo and more with TD – WFNY Podcast – 2013-05-09

We did talk briefly about the attendance, but really not much at all. We’ve both agreed that it shouldn’t dominate the headlines a second year in a row. Lackluster attendance and how tired we are of talking about it Bud Shaw’s article about the long-term project TV ratings and how far they’re up year over year You can’t get the pulse of casual fans that stopped...

Tribe sweep A’s, ready for series in Detroit

MLB.com Having lost their previous eight games against the Oakland Athletics heading into to this past week’s four-game series that began Monday, the red-hot Cleveland Indians knew that things would be different this time around. With a 9-2 win over the A’s on Thursday night to close out the series and secure the sweep, the Indians once again showed the rest of the A.L. Central...

Red-hot Scherzer to face off against red-hot Tribe

Coming off another impressive performance last weekend, the Detroit Tigers' Max Scherzer appears to be at the top of his game. So do the AL Central rival Cleveland Indians, who could become all the more formidable with Michael Bourn back atop their lineup. Looking to win a fourth consecutive start and stay unbeaten, Scherzer tries to slow down the surging Indians in the opener...

Game 2013.32: Tigers at Nationals

Detroit Tigers, 19-12, 1st Place (1.5 ahead of KC). This afterevening the Tigers make up their rained out game from Tuesday, as they play the plasticine game in the two-game season series against the Washington Nationals. I predict that the Nationals will strike early, and score maybe three runs in the first. Many have touted this series as a World Series preview. I hope not;  I’ve...

Tigers beat Indians 10-4 behind Fielder, Cabrera

DETROIT (AP) -- Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera each hit a long home run, and the Detroit Tigers beat the Cleveland Indians 10-4 on Friday night. The Tigers scored three runs in the second and three more in the fourth. Fielder's third-inning solo shot landed just below the No. 42 honoring Jackie Robinson on the brick facade beyond the wall in right-center field, giving Detroit...

Second Thoughts Game #31: A's 3, Indians 4

The Indians catch a break Unless my admittedly questionable eyesight is failing desperately theAdam Rosales homerun/double call and later review may have been the most abysmal, egregious call I have seen in a long time. How this crew failed to correct the call on the field and reward Rosales with a homerun is beyond me. However, fortunately for Chris Perez and the Indians this...

Second Thoughts Game #32: Indians 9, A’s 2

It’s been nearly four years since Scott Kazmir last struck out 10 batters in a game. To put that in context, a teenager who was just starting college back then—August 26, 2009, to be exact—could conceivably be preparing for his graduation this weekend. That’s an awful lot of space between two bookends. But before we get back to the phoenix that is the Tribe’s veteran...

Indians activate OF Michael Bourn

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Indians activated starting center fielder Michael Bourn from the 15-day disabled list after sweeping a four-game series from Oakland. Bourn had been sidelined since slicing open his right index finger while diving into first base on April 14. He was eligible to return on April 30, but the cut didn't heal in time and Bourn needed some extra time. Bourn is...

Indians-Tigers Preview

Coming off another impressive performance last weekend, the Detroit Tigers' Max Scherzer appears to be at the top of his game. So do the AL Central rival Cleveland Indians, who could become all the more formidable with Michael Bourn back atop their lineup. Looking to win a fourth consecutive start and stay unbeaten, Scherzer tries to slow down the surging Indians in the opener...

Minor Happenings:

In this week’s Minor Happenings, Tony talks about the rapid growth of Danny Salazar and his alleged promotion to Columbus and what he needs to work on. He also looks at the return of Matt LaPorta and if his showing to date is any different from last year, provides some detailed comments from the front office on Trevor Bauer’s progression as a pitcher as well as the 411 on extended...

2013 MLB Draft: Looking at the redrafts

We are about a month until the 2013 MLB Draft and things are starting to crystallize.  The top two picks are all but confirmed to be Mark Appel and Jonathan Gray, though the order they are taken is yet to be determined and won't be known until draft night. That being said, one of the things that has always made the MLB Draft very different from every other draft, is that it...

MLB Admits It Got Home Run Call Wrong in Athletics-Indians Game, But Results Won’t Change

CLEVELAND — Major League Baseball says the umpires were wrong. That doesn’t help the Oakland Athletics. One day after umpire Angel Hernandez and his crew failed to reverse an obvious home run by A’s infielder Adam Rosales following a video review, MLB executive vice president Joe Torre said an “improper call” was made in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s game between the...
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.