Desmond JenningsThe Desmond Jennings era is over.

On Friday, the Rays released the oft-injured and oft-underperforming outfielder after seven seasons with the club.

Cash spoke about the move, via Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

“It was time,” Cash said. “Best for him, best for us going forward.”

The Rays cited Jennings’ inability to stay healthy as a huge factor in the decision, with Cash saying, “we couldn’t quite get him on the field as much as we would have liked … We had to make a decision.”

But Jennings’ lack of production, occasional lack of hustle, and often lack of ability to just make good decisions on the baseball field almost certainly played a bigger factor.

Topkin summed Jennings up the best, referring to his potential as “fool’s gold”:

“More significant, the Rays can finally let go of the fool’s gold hope Jennings would ever maximize the potential of his abundant skills, a ritual they put themselves, and everyone else, through each spring.”

The lack of production and the injuries can probably both be traced back to Jennings trying to be something he wasn’t: a power hitter.

Prior to the 2014 season, Jennings added size to his frame in hopes of adding power to his game, showing up to spring training noticeably bigger. One writer said at the time that he looked more like a strong safety.

Not only did Jennings not hit for more power, his stolen bases went down and he couldn’t stay on the field.

2011-13: Jennings averaged one home run for every 39 plate appearance and one stolen base for every 20 plate appearances.

2014-16: Jennings averaged one home run for every 49 plate appearance and one stolen base for every 40 plate appearances.

Jennings also played in just 216 out of a possible 451 games. That’s not good.

And when he did play, even his defense, the one thing that should have been Jennings’ strength, was constantly marred by bad decisions and lackadaisical play. You can see both on this inside-the-park home run from earlier this season:

And so it ends. Not with trophies, awards, and a wave to the crowd. But with a form faxed to the league office and a box next to his locker.

The release of Jennings means Evan Longoria is the only significant position player left from the last Rays team to make the playoffs in 2013. Tim Beckham and Kevin Kiermaier also saw brief action with the 2013 team.



  1. Ken H says:

    Finally. This move should have happened 2 years ago. We now have one slot open on the 40 man roster. Speaking of which, check it out. It is littered with bodies that need to go. Motter, Casali, Conger, Brett, should all go. O'Connor too in my opinion. LoMo will go at the end of the season, Beckam too. Time for the FO to fess up to some poor drafting, and poor decisions on acquisitions and move on.

    • Drew says:

      Agreed Ken. I felt Silverman did a good job in his first offseason of cutting deadweight (molina, peralta), but then the players he replaced them with have performed even worse. Now that they're down in the dumps, no better time than now to cut the cord on the remaining placeholders.

    • dadlad says:

      I think that it would be long overdue for the RFO to dump all these mistakes but it seems that they do not want to admit to their poor judgement. Just look at the standings and you will see that they are not close to being competitive in their division. I think that our owner needs to get some "baseball" people, not wall street types to run things. While he is at it he should sell the team to a person who wants to win at all costs. All he has done is to cut down all the costs so he can make more $$$$$$$!

      • OriginalTom says:

        Do you consider Theo Epstien or Andrew Friedman a "Baseball' People? The Cubs and Dodgers are both doing quite well.

        • Ken H says:

          Certainly do consider Theo a pretty astute "baseball guy". His bio goes all the way back to the Padres and he's got a ring. His acquisition proclivities include Big Papi, pretty shrewd.
          The jury is still out on the "Boy Wonder". I think Maddon covered a lot of his mistakes. I'm still pissed at the Price trade, especially since he jumped ship the winter after making it. Compare draft picks made by Theo and Andy, doesn't paint a pretty picture.

  2. Mike says:

    Just before the season started the big question was Loney Guyer Jennings three players two spots I am so confused now they are all gone what a joke and they wonder why they are in last place easy too many swings and misses and not enough contact hitters

  3. Chris Wise says:

    Not my favorite player when he was with the Bulls and I agree with the assessment that when he started trying for power he lost speed. Often injured even as a Bull. Odd that Mahtook got sent down to Bulls at the same time. Guess just till Sep 1.

  4. Rob says:

    KK is a hustler, so no worries there in comparison, but I do have similar concerns about his approach at the plate every time he hits a HR - that he will get encouraged by it and try again. Been saying it for 2 years, but KK should try to emulate Brett Butler when in the batter's box and never try to hit balls out of the park.

  5. Gus says:

    Just one final comment. The Rays wasted some of Desmond Jennings' best years down on the farm managing his service time when they had playoff teams that could have used his spark when he still had his legs.

    Those speed guys age in dog years -- see Crawford, Carl. Get them up more quickly (KK's rapid rise through the system could be viewed as a counterpoint or a place where they perhaps learned their lesson with DJ -- or just dumb luck).

  6. Craig says:

    I've never cheered for Jennings to fail and I wish things had gone better for him. However, it's time to cut bait and run from several players, Jennings included, as this disappointing season winds down.


Leave a Comment