Before Spring Training began one of the biggest concerns the Rays expressed over the potential promotion of Evan Longoria was that he had yet to experience a prolonged slump in the minor leagues. The Rays wanted to see how their top prospect would handle a situation knowing it will eventually happen at the big league level. At the time it seemed like a trivial reason to keep a top prospect in the minors.
If the Rays do indeed demote Longoria to Durham to start the season, many people are going to wonder why. I think I figured out the answer to that question. Or at least I think I figured out why they chose the excuse they will use:
DRays Bay paraphrases Joe Maddon from friday night’s pre-game show.
To paraphrase Joe Maddon on the radio pre-game show: “[Evan] hasn’t been hitting the breaking balls well.”
And here is a quote from our very own Professor on February 25:
If [Longoria’s lack of struggles in the minors] is the biggest concern the Rays have with Longoria, then they have no concerns. “He has never slumped” is not a reason to keep somebody in the minors. “He can’t handle curveballs” or “He smokes too much weed” are reasons to keep somebody in the minors. “He is too good” is not.
Did the Rays heed the words of The Professor when discussing how to swing the news of Longoria’s demotion to the press? I guess it is a good thing the Rays didn’t choose option B.