Atlanta is seeking bench upgrades, Crasnick notes, and Raburn would give the club a corner outfield option with a long history of mashing left-handed pitching. A former infielder, Raburn hasn’t played any second base since 2013 or any third base since 2011, though the Rockies did use him briefly (23 innings) at first base last season. He’s a career .261/.341/.487 hitter against left-handed opponents.
The 35-year-old Raburn (36 next weekend) struggled through a poor 2016 campaign despite playing most of his games in the hitter-friendly Coors Field. In 256 plate appearances, the veteran slashed just .220/.309/.404 with nine home runs. Though his average against lefties was lower than usual (.229), Raburn still got on base (.356) and showed plenty of pop (.479 slugging, .250 ISO) against left-handed opponents though.
For the Braves, Raburn could serve to occasionally spell Nick Markakis in right field when opponents throw a left-handed starter. He could also serve as a late pinch-hitting option and see occasional time at first base in the event that Freddie Freeman needs a breather. As it stands, Anthony Recker is the only member of the Braves’ bench that has ever made even one appearance at first base, and his experience there is limited to a minuscule total of 18 Major League innings.