Colorado Rockies: Ian Desmond says hello to Mr. Mendoza!
Pop the champagne! It’s time to throw a parade down Blake Street! Stuff those All-Star Game ballot boxes!
Hello Mr. Mendoza, for the first time since April 12, Ian Desmond‘s batting average is finally above the dubious .200 mark. Obviously, this is all tongue in cheek, but not seeing a “1” in front of the Colorado Rockies’ starting first baseman’s batting average has brought on many sighs of relief among fans and some light-hearted jabs on social media for that matter.
To give a little history lesson for those that don’t know, the “Mendoza Line” is named after Mario Mendoza, who was a career .215 in nine season in the 70s and 80s. In 1979, Mendoza’s struggles at the plate became a clubhouse joke as his batting average hovered around .200 for the entire season, finishing at a minuscule .198. This joke led to batting .200 to be known as the “Mendoza Line.”
Desmond is now hitting .203 with 14 homers and 39 RBI. To finally break the .200 threshold, Desmond has play well as of late, hitting 7-of-20 with three home runs and six RBI in his last five games.
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Desmond has taken a lot of criticism (especially from me) all season long, and deservedly so, but surprisingly he has provided a lot of production to the Rockies’ lineup.
Who in their right mind would have thought Desmond would be matching Nolan Arenado and exceeding Charlie Blackmon in homers and RBI? Some way, some how he is tied for the team lead with Trevor Story with 14 home runs and third with 39 RBI. These numbers also put him in the top 15 in RBI and top five in homers in the National League.
Obviously, production like this with a .203 batting average means he has been feast or famine at the plate. Yes, 29 percent of his 48 hits have gone out of the ballpark. On the other hand, he has struck out 68 times and have grounded into six double plays and has an ugly OBP of .269.
Just because he is now hitting over the Mendoza Line, doesn’t mean he off the hook for all the criticism he has received. If the Rockies are going to make a run at the NL West title and a playoff birth they are going to need their highest paid player to be much better than .200.
Next: Colorado Rockies: What they should be looking for at the trade deadline
But now that he is finally above this dreaded line, the weight should be off his shoulders to get the Ian Desmond that the Rockies had hoped they’d be getting.