Rays Director of Scouting, RJ Harrison appeared on “Minors and Majors” a radio show on SiriusXM. He was asked why it took so long for Desmond Jennings to be called up…
There was nothing [to work on]. I think more than anything, just staying healthy…Probably for the last year he’s been, as you say, big league ready, or ready for this opportunity. But there has been some ups and downs with injuries. Some setbacks. And heck, some of those other guys (Fuld, Ruggiano) have come to the big leagues…those moving parts we have at the big league level. And things were going good. So a lot of times you aren’t going to disrupt when you are going good.
Huh-wha?!? Jennings was big league ready a year ago, and yet the Rays waited to bring him up because he might get hurt, and because Sam Fuld and Justin Ruggiano were playing well? Who keeps their top prospect in the minors because a couple of 4-A players are hot? Oh. The Rays do.
And Jennings has certainly had his fair share of injuries in his career. He even just did a stint on the DL with an injured finger. But in the last three seasons, his injuries have been of the minor variety.
This season, Jennings played
in 86 of the Bulls 98 games. Last year he appeared in 126 games combined between triple-A and the Rays. And in 2009, he played in 132 games, missing only 12.
Hey, injuries are something to be concerned about with Jennings. But Jennings is not a pitcher. Either the injuries are going to happen or they won’t. And yet the Rays continued to baby their best position prospect at the cost of fielding an inferior big league lineup.
Now, if you are a kid drafted out of high school by the Rays and are on the fence about signing, aren’t you leaning towards going to college because it might be faster track to the big leagues?
Welcome to Rays baseball.