BOSTON -- That leash on Ryan Raburn that manager Jim Leyland said wasn't very long Tuesday morning ran out by the end of the night.
The team announced after Tuesday's loss that they had optioned Raburn to Triple-A Toledo, but Leyland said it had been a decision in the works for a while. His decision to bat Raburn second in the batting order on Monday was a last-ditch effort to get Raburn out of his season-long funk.
Once Raburn struck out three times on called third strikes that afternoon, the Tigers' wait for him to find his annual summer groove ended. They'll still look for him to get that spark, but he'll have to find it in a Mud Hens uniform first.
"You have to understand, this is not a punishment," Leyland said. "We have to try to get him going. He has gone down before and got it going and came back and helped us out. We're hoping that's what happens, but right now, we're beating a dead horse. It's just not working."
Catcher Omir Santos was recalled from Triple-A Toledo on Wednesday. He hit .310 in 84 at-bats with seven doubles, a triple and nine RBIs in 27 games.
Leyland had said Tuesday the player coming up would not be a second baseman.
"I have a combination of [Ramon] Santiago and [Danny] Worth," Leyland said, "and I think that combination will stay intact."
Neither Santiago nor Worth have hit particularly well, either, but neither had been getting the regular at-bats Raburn was. The move doesn't make way for a replacement so much as it gets Raburn out of a situation that wasn't working.
Raburn's slow starts and midseason streaks have been an annual storyline since 2009, but his numbers this year have been particularly low. His .146 batting average (18-for-123) was the lowest in the Majors among players with at least 100 plate appearances this year. He hit .139 (10-for-72) over his past 20 games.
"It's kind of something I didn't want to think would happen," Raburn said, "but the way I've been swinging, I just hadn't really gotten the job done. It was kind of inevitable, just to help the team and help me kind of get it going. It's just unfortunate I wasn't able to help the team out much."
Raburn had brief stints at Toledo in three straight seasons from 2008-10 before spending all of last season in the big leagues. Two years ago, he went 12-for-27 with six doubles as a Mud Hen and never looked back. The hope clearly is that he can have a similar spark that he never found in the Majors.
Raburn doesn't feel like he's embarking on a major project.
"I don't feel like I'm trying to rediscover my swing or anything like that," he said. "It's just a matter of getting hits. That's the bottom line. This game is based on production, and right now I just wasn't going."
Jackson not ready to resume baseball activities
BOSTON -- What was once hoped to be a day to day injury for Tigers leadoff man Austin Jackson now appears all but certain to stretch beyond the minimum stay on the disabled list as the Tigers try to get him past his abdominal strain.
While Jackson remains in Detroit rehabbing with physical therapist Steve Scher, he isn't ready for baseball activities and won't do any until the Tigers return home and have their medical staff re-evaluate him Friday. That's also the first day Jackson will be eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list.
Any chance of having him back Friday with little or no work on the field now seems out of consideration.
"It's not going to be as soon as we'd hoped, obviously," manager Jim Leyland said of Jackson's return.
That's a tough break for the Tigers, who could use Jackson's glove and bat in center and leadoff, even if it means shifting hot-hitting Quintin Berry to another outfield spot or the bench. But it also delays the much-speculated roster decision on how to make room for Jackson if Berry's going to stick around.
Balester clears waivers, outrighted to Triple-A
BOSTON -- Reliever Collin Balester, who was designated for assignment last Wednesday to make room for Luis Marte's return from the disabled list, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Toledo on Tuesday.
Balester had allowed 13 earned runs on 14 hits with 11 walks over 18 innings and had seemingly fallen down the list of options in the Tigers' bullpen.
Detroit had acquired Balester from Washington in a trade for fellow right-handed reliever Ryan Perry last winter. One reason the Nationals were willing to deal him was that he was out of Minor League options.
By getting Balester through waivers, the Tigers could bring him back later in the season if he can work out some control issues and stretch out his arm to fill a long-relief role. However, he'll be part of a crowded Mud Hens bullpen that includes right-handers Luke Putkonen and Zach Miner.
After court appearance, Young in Tigers' lineup
BOSTON -- By day, Delmon Young was in a Manhattan courtroom for a pretrial deposition on his aggravated assault charge from last month. By the time the Tigers took batting practice late Tuesday afternoon, Young was in uniform and on the field to hit.
Young was also in Detroit's starting lineup, contrary to previous plans. Manager Jim Leyland originally had Young out of the lineup but ready to come off the bench. Soon after posting his lineup, however, Leyland inserted Young, batting fifth in what has become his usual spot at designated hitter.
Don Kelly, who had been slated to play right field, was pushed out. Brennan Boesch went from DH to right field.
Young has not been offered a plea deal by prosecutors for the case in which he was accused of making anti-Semitic comments outside a New York hotel.
Young was arrested April 27 outside the team hotel. Young faces possible second-degree aggravated harassment in an investigation of the hate-crime language he may have used.
Because of the legal case, Young has yet to comment on the issue, though he has been adamant that he is not the type of person portrayed by the hate-crime investigation.
New York County Criminal Court Judge Abraham Clott adjourned Young's case until Aug. 2, currently scheduled as an off-day for the Tigers after a three-game series in Boston.