The Tigers announced tonight that second baseman/ outfielder Ryan Raburn has been optioned to Triple-A Toledo. The streaky Raburn batted a meager .146/.209/.211 for Detroit over the first two months of the season as manager Jim Leyland gave him every opportunity to heat up. Monday's game where he batted second and struck out three times looking versus the Red Sox was apparently the last straw.
Raburn has had a habit of starting slow and then tearing it up late in the season. The Tigers are, of course, hoping the same thing happens this season and they are sending him to Toledo to try to get him going. He had stints with the MudHens each year from 2007-2010 and each time responded well with an OPS above .900. With the tigers offense continuing to sputter this year, there is a chance he could get a recall fairly quickly if he gets hot.
There was no mention of a corresponding move to take Raburn's place on the roster. There are not any terribly exciting options down on the farm, at least ones that would seem ready for the majors. They could use a right-handed bat on the bench, so my wild guess is that they'll give big Brad Eldred another shot.
The fact that they sent Raburn down now rather than waiting for Austin Jackson to come off the disabled list suggests that there could be some kind of trade in place. However, I wouldn't expect any difference makers to be available this early in the season.
For now, it will be Ramon Santiago and Danny Worth sharing the second base job. They should be able to top Raburn's current offensive line and provide more defense, but neither is a permanent solution to their keystone problem.