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.

Mets to move Matt Harvey to the bullpen

Matt Harvey
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Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is heading to the bullpen, according to comments made by club manager Mickey Callaway on Saturday. As predicted, Harvey doesn’t appear to be taking the news particularly well, going so far as to tell Callaway that the decision has him “at a 10 with being pissed off” and that he’s motivated to prove himself as a starter.

It’s been rough going for Harvey this spring. After missing significant time to a shoulder injury last season, the 29-year-old righty returned to the mound with a lot left to prove. He pitched to an 0-2 record in four starts, issuing 14 runs, four home runs and 17 strikeouts in 21 innings. It’s been a while since the Mets have seen anything better out of their starter — he hasn’t turned in a sub-4.00 ERA since 2015 and hasn’t pitched well enough to earn an All-Star berth since 2013 — and now it appears they’re at the end of their rope.

At this point, the Mets insist that the shift is a temporary one. While Callaway has helped successfully convert several starters to the bullpen, including Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco, that’s not the plan for this veteran right-hander. Instead, both the team and Harvey seem to view the change as a way to clear up any mental blocks Harvey may be encountering on the mound. “We know he’s healthy,” assistant GM John Ricco told reporters. “He’s feeling good. Then you get to, is this a little bit of a mental thing, a confidence thing? One of the things we talk about is getting him into the ‘pen, where he can have success in short spurts, get that confidence back and really let it go and get back to being a guy who can dominate the way he’s shown in the past.”

Harvey will be eligible to pitch out of the bullpen on Tuesday, when the Mets are scheduled to kick off their next road series against the Cardinals. As for his replacement, left-hander Jason Vargas will resume his role in the rotation when he comes off the disabled list next Saturday.