Raburn tested his legs with some running drills and took part in batting practice prior to Tuesday's game at Turner Field, and said after the workout that going on the disabled list was a possibility.
"We were trying not to [put Raburn on the DL]," Indians manager Terry Francona said on Wednesday. "I think we thought he'd be OK last night, but when he went through BP he was still kind of a little hesitant to let it go. I just felt like it's not fair to him."
Raburn's stay on the shelf is retroactive to Aug. 19, meaning he will be eligible for activation on Tuesday. Cleveland's roster will expand to 40 players on Sunday, giving the club a chance to add reinforcements.
To fill Raburn's spot on the active roster, Cleveland purchased the contract of 32-year-old outfielder Matt Carson from Triple-A Columbus. To vacate a spot on the 40-man roster for Carson, the Indians transferred infielder Cord Phelps (right wrist inflammation) to the 60-day DL.
Raburn, who has not appeared in a game since going 1-for-4 with a home run against the A's on Aug. 18, has hit .272 with 15 home runs, 29 extra-base hits and 41 RBIs through 71 games this season. Cleveland has used Raburn (recently signed to a two-year extension) as a part-timer in the outfield, second base and as a designated hitter.
Entering Wednesday, Raburn ranked first in the Majors in home runs among players with no more than 250 at-bats. Among those with no more than 300 at-bats, only Atlanta's Brian McCann (18 homers) and Evan Gattis (15) had at least as many as Raburn.
Carson -- who had stints with the A's and Twins in parts of three seasons between 2009-12 -- signed a Minor League contract with Cleveland over the winter. The right-handed outfielder had five home runs and 11 RBIs in 27 games in Spring Training, and has hit .252 with 14 homers and 49 RBIs in 121 games at Triple-A this season.
"Unfortunately, someone had to get hurt for that to happen," Carson said of being promoted. "I know that's not the way you want it to happen, but sometimes that's the way it works out. It was a pleasant surprise."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.