Leyland waiting for Raburn to get going

Leyland waiting for Raburn to get going

SEATTLE -- Ryan Raburn didn't get the start at second base on Wednesday, but his shift to left field marked his sixth straight start in as many days as Tigers manager Jim Leyland continues to try to get him going at the plate.

Leyland hasn't said how he'll handle second base over the weekend in Oakland, but with Ramon Santiago already scheduled to give shortstop Jhonny Peralta a day off in the opener, Raburn will almost certainly be at second Thursday night, then either at second or back in left field Friday against lefty Tommy Milone.

Raburn entered Thursday batting 1-for-7 for the series and 2-for-20 in May, dropping his season average to .135. There's a limit to Leyland's patience, he hinted, but having seen the difference Raburn can make when he's going at the plate, he's trying his best to get him there.

"At some point, it'll stop if it doesn't start to get better," Leyland said. "At some point, you do something different. But what I've tried to do is to see.

"If you get Raburn going, that's production. He produces. He hits the ball over the fence. If you get [Ramon Santiago] going, he's really a nice player for you. They both have their assets, obviously, but I'm trying to give Raburn the benefit of the doubt to play him a few days in a row to see if we can get him going. Because it just doesn't work when you [mix guys]. We tried that, kind of, to play somebody a game or two and then get him out because he doesn't hit, then play somebody else a game, then try somebody.

"I mean, we can't be experimenting with Worth, Santiago and Raburn all year long. Somebody has got to step up. Hopefully it's Raburn, because when he hits, he can score you from first a lot. But right now he's not hitting."