It was the best of seasons. It was the worst of seasons. During this rollercoaster, 2012 season that has been Detroit Tiger baseball, fans have seen every facet of the game; good, bad and ugly. None of which have been uglier than the performances of Ryan Raburn and Brennan Boesch.
In all fairness, I have been a longtime supporter of Boesch, and an equally-rationed opponent of Raburn as a prime-time player. This season, however, watching both men has given more than a few instances of antacid-induced trauma. Production with runners on base has been a travesty. Defensive miscues continue to haunt like a scene from A Christmas Carol. At some point, one has to begin looking at the tale of the tape and discern whether or not the play is beneficial.
Though I will give a fair amount of credit to manager Jim Leyland for his attempt at turning around both of their fortunes by force, rather than finesse, the fact remains that it has not worked quite well enough. Regardless of lineup spot, however, neither of the two have been particularly spectacular in overall production.
In the last 10 games, from June 15 through July 1, Raburn has hit an improved .286, but has only managed 2 runs on 8 hits, with 1 RBI and 7 strikeouts. Boesch, meanwhile, is batting a meager .176, with 3 runs on 6 hits, while totaling a single RBI and 8 strikeouts.
Defensively, Raburn has maintained a season-long .956 fielding percentage at second base, counting only his major league statistics, which is on track with his career numbers. Boesch, likewise, remains consistent in the field, with a .990 fielding percentage.
That, however, is not where the similarities end. Both men have been slightly better against left-handed pitching and they have OPS numbers consistent with their level of offensive performance. Both, consistently mediocre.
With management remaining staunchly behind both men, at least for the present time, the rest of the roster must remain burdened with the weight of the offense resting on their shoulders. Unfortunately, with the available talent in the trade-deadline pool, Detroit may be forced to remain loyal to one, or both, regardless of their lack of performance. Whether or not this constitutes
The author, D. Benjamin Satkowiak, is a successful entrepreneur and published, freelance author, who has tailored works on various sports, health and fitness topics. He currently serves as a Yahoo! Contributor Network "Featured Contributor" and writes on the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Great Lakes Loons and Notre Dame football.