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Gaddis agrees with Joey demotion

But as Gathright reported to the Bulls in Toledo, Ohio, this weekend, he brought with him exactly 995 career at-bats in the minor leagues.

Perspective? Crawford had 1,714 at-bats in the minors. Rocco Baldelli had 1,116. Aubrey Huff had 1,356.

And those three players - the heart of Tampa Bay's hopes for the future - got to the majors relatively quickly. Huff, who had eight home runs and 45 RBIs in his first extended major-league look (111 games in 2001), began the 2002 season in Durham.

Since his promotion that year, he hasn't looked back.

Crawford was much more advanced defensively at Gathright's stage of his career, but at the plate they were similar. In fact, Crawford acknowledged that spending the entire 2002 season with Durham - instead of coming up in July - might have helped him round into shape earlier as a major-league hitter.

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