The sophomore slump is starting to have the feel of the “Madden curse” for Brad Miller.
The Mariners second year shortstop is off to a horrendous start to the season. Hopes were high and the future looked bright after the battle for shortstop was won by Brad Miller, beating out former second baseman Nick Franklin for the starting spot this spring.
His bat was hot throughout spring training posting a ridiculous triple slash of .410/.478/.836.
The only concern for fans when it came to Miller was his glove. He posted just two errors in 20 games started at shortstop down in Peoria. Not bad.
Here we are, halfway through May and Brad Miller is batting .154/.209/.262, and going into Wednesday’s game versus the Rays he was in the middle of a 1 for 21 slump. Miller has also struck out 39 times in just 36 games after only 52 times in 76 games last season. The Mariners as a team have not been very good defensively this season and Miller has made his fair share of head scratching errors as well.
Manager Lloyd McClendon has stuck with Miller and been patient, understanding everyone goes through slumps.
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t concerned, McClendon said. He’s struggling right now, and I’m trying to get him out of it. I’ve said a few times, you either play ‘em or you bench ‘em. We’re trying to play him and see if he can come out of it. I don’t have any answers. I’m being honest as I can right now. I don’t have that answer. I don’t know.
As bad as his slump has been, the pressure of possibly being sent down could subside temporary as the red hot shortstop in Tacoma, Chris Taylor, is on the verge of being sent to the DL for a pinky injury. It won’t be long until he is back in the lineup but this should help Miller relax a bit.
Don’t expect Nick Franklin to replace Miller anytime soon. The second year 2nd baseman turned shortstop has been having his own troubles in Triple-A. Monday night Franklin committed two errors and a defensive flub that allowed a run to score.
Lets hope that the pressure being off Miller for a week or so will get him kick started. He has remained positive and said he does not want to change his routine.
Always that way. One swing away. One little thing. Baseball is such a feel game, and it’s right there. I always feel like I’m right there. Nothing too crazy. — Brad Miller
For our futures sake, I hope Miller gets back on track. He is such a huge offensive weapon when he is on that I feel we need to be as patient as possible and allow him to plow through his sophomore slump.