Something similar happened to Austin Kearns in the middle of the season last year for the Reds. Austin was playing like he'd never hit a baseball before, so after three seasons of playing with the big league club, he was optioned to Louisville. Bottom line is he stunk. He still doesn't believe the move was justified, but everyone else seems to. He dropped 20 pounds and has had a good spring, so we're hoping for a breakout year for him.
From what everyone is saying, Church acted like a professional in the demotion. True, Church kind of got screwed last year, but there has to be some other reason for his plight. Don't get me wrong, I like Church, and I think the move is bad. I just don't think we know the whole story. Maybe the baseball gods just don't like him. They don't seem to like the Nationals too well, at any rate. Hopefully Ryan will get his head on straight down in New Orleans and rejoin the team in May.
Of course, this is all Bowden's fault, with Soriwhino and all.