Odd move: Tigers place Ryan Raburn on 15-day disabled list

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This being September, there’s absolutely no advantage to be gained by placing a player on the 15-day disabled list. Yet that’s what the Tigers did Thursday, placing Ryan Raburn on the DL with a strained right quad.

Typically, teams only use the 60-day disabled list in September, as stashing a player there frees up a 40-man roster spot. Putting a player on the 15-day DL doesn’t do anything except guarantee that said player can’t be used for 15 days. Which would seem to be precisely what Dave Dombrowski wanted to accomplish here.

Raburn is hitting a horrendous .171/.226/.254 with one homer and 12 RBI in 205 at-bats. He’s also a subpar defensively at second base, the position he’s played more frequently this season. So it’s easy to see why upper management apparently doesn’t want him anywhere near the field.

Manager Jim Leyland, however, had given him two starts since he was brought back from the minors on Sept. 1. He was 1-for-7 with a walk in those two games, both Tigers losses. Overall, he was 1-for-8 this month.

The move was made retroactive to Sept. 11, so Raburn will be eligible to return on Sept. 26. However, his Tigers career is most likely finished. He figures to be non-tendered this winter after such a disappointing season.

Ian Kinsler lists the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central

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Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.

Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list

Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.

Angels demote C.J. Cron to Triple-A

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Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.

Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).

While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.