Triple-A Tacoma infielder Chris Taylor is headed to the 7-day disabled list after injuring his left pinky finger on a slide at second base in Tuesday's game at Las Vegas.
So scratch Taylor as an immediate alternative to slumping Brad Miller.
Plans call for Taylor to be examined next week in Seattle. Until then, all is speculation, but the preliminary best guess — guess, mind you — is the injury isn't too serious. Club officials are hoping Taylor can return in two weeks, perhaps less.
Taylor, 23, was absolutely raking this season in 35 games for the Rainiers in compiling a slash of .372/.414/.593. That had club officials taking a harder look at him as an possible alternative to Miller.
Now, that won't happen anytime soon.
Taylor's injury was first reported by Mike Curto in his always-excellent blog, which you should bookmark if you're interested in the Mariners, Rainiers and the Pacific Coast League.
(And, of course, you can read Mike's work regularly in The News Tribune.)
Taylor, 23, was absolutely raking this season in 35 games for the Rainiers in compiling a slash of .372/.414/.593.
Miller's average is down to .154 after getting just two hits in his last 37 at-bats. His .470 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) is the lowest among qualifying players in either league. No other American League player is lower than .542.
Taylor's injury leaves Nick Franklin as the Mariners' top in-house alternative to Miller, but Franklin is currently in the doghouse at Tacoma after a series of mental lapses. He was pulled from Tuesday's game after permitting a run to score because of inattention.
Franklin is among the PCL leaders in many hitting categories but was just 2-for-16 in a brief promotion last month to the big leagues.