Carlos Pena went 0-4 tonight in the loss to Kansas City which drops his batting average to .196 on the season in 560 plate appearances. If he can go at least 3 for 8 over the weekend, he will finish the regular season just slightly above the mythical Mendoza line with a .201 batting average. Should Pena not do that, he will become just the eighth player since 1950 to finish the season below the Mendoza line that has had at least 502 plate appearances in a single season.
Rob Deer hit .179 in 1991 as a member of the Detroit Tigers while hitting 25 home runs, walking 89 times, and striking out 175 times. Tom Tresh, Jim Sundberg, Zoilo Versailles, Don Wert, and Curt Blefary are also on that list but Versailles might be the only name most of you recognize as he was the American League MVP just two seasons prior to his Mendoza season. The only other modern day player besides Deer to pull off what Pena is trying to avoid is Mark Reynolds of the Arizona Diamondbacks who is currently hitting .199 this season while hitting 32 home runs, walking 82 times, and once again striking out more than 200 times in a season.
It is going to be a tough off-season for Pena and his agent as they work to find a new contract and as insignificant as it may seem, him getting over that Mendoza line will help him out on the open market once this season is over.