Good news and bad news in the Rays organization on Friday, and being the pessimists we are, let’s start with the bad. Outfielder Deshun Dixon, the Rays’ 10th round pick in 2010 who is currently at Short Season-A Hudson Valley, has been suspended 50 games for violating the minor league baseball drug policy. Marc Topkin had the scoop.
Dixon has just a .206/.270/.326 line in 11o career minor league games, but he was hitting better in July, posting a .243/.312/.329 line, before falling off a cliff in August as he went just 2 for 26 before being suspended. Dixon is an athletic player who has some potential that the Rays still hoped to see, but this second mistake really has to make you wonder whether Dixon is simply a lost cause.
We understand that pressure makes us do misguided things. Dixon felt the pressure to before and took a banned substance. But twice now? Dixon’s game is still almost completely undeveloped and he has the ability to be a much better player than he has been thus far in his career. Without the present ability, Dixon took to drugs to compensate. But while it was an understandable mistake, Dixon just has to realize that even failure, even a third consecutive season of struggles, is all a part of the process of giving Dixon the best chance to be a major league baseball player someday. But the Rays are losing their patience. We’ve heard Joe Maddon say that physical errors happen, but mental errors have to be stopped. Is Dixon in the game mentally? He’s taken a bad situation and simply made it worse. The chances of Dixon making the major leagues were unlikely from the start. At this point, nothing short of a miracle will take him where he dreams to go.
Topkin also wrote about Ryan Roberts‘ charitable efforts in Arizona to help Ryan House, a charity organization that assists children suffering from life-threatening conditions, along with their families. Great to see Roberts volunteering in his community back in Arizona and hopefully he can bring the same fervor to organizations in the Tampa Bay area as well.