When a player is batting below .200 he is considered batting below the Mendoza line. The term was coined by Hall of Famer George Brett of the Kansas City Royals referencing Seattle Mariner shortstop Mario Mendoza who batted .198 for the M’s in 1979.
Mario played 686 games over nine years with four teams ending with a .215 career average. He would be forgotten by all but the most diehard Seattle fans were he not immortalized by Brett.
Mariner manager Lloyd McClendon must love shortstop Brad Miller currently batting .160. I don’t know if that is the Miller line yet as he could drop even further. His hitting immortality for futility is a work in progress.
What I always love about managers is what they say about players in a slump. Having gone 0-19 Miller had a two run double. Interviewed the next day, McClendon said Miller was hitting the ball well, and was due to come out of the slump. Then Miller goes 0-4.
All managers say the say the same thing. It borders on “I liked what he did with that foul ball last night.” I don’t know who managers are kidding. Fans can read batting averages and box scores. At least for the time being he has been dropped from the two spot to the bottom of the lineup. The number one and two slots are important for Cano and Hart and whoever comes up to drive in runs. Without men on base you don’t score.
I liked Miller last season and I would like to see him get untracked, but why is he not in Tacoma and either Nick Franklin or Chris Taylor, both of whom are tearing the cover off the ball brought up. Franklin is hitting .384 with 7 homers and 26 rbis in 25 games. Taylor .371 in 34 games with 3 homers, but 13 doubles and 8 steals. Both can play short.
Granted it is the PCL, but the point is that players who perform at triple A get called up for their chance when someone on the big club continues to falter. All Franklin or Taylor have to do is hit above the Mendoza line, heck even above the Miller line, which at the moment is .160.