The Rangers could have some tough decisions looming regarding their bullpen and starting rotation. Injuries have opened up spots on the 25-man roster, but when exactly will we see Yohander Mendez again?
Last season, the Texas Rangers called up lefty Yohander Mendez for two games out of the bullpen. According to MLB.com, Mendez is the No. 2 prospect in the Rangers farm system currently. The 22-year-old is still pitching in Double-A, but why hasn’t he been called up?
This season Mendez is 5-4 with a 3.48 ERA in 14 starts and has 71 strikeouts. In his most recent outing he threw seven scoreless innings with seven strikeouts against Midland. He allowed just three hits, and is beginning to find his groove on the mound.
That outing marked the third time in four starts that Mendez has allowed one run or fewer in a start. He’s completed at least six innings in his last 12 starts. According to Mike Rosenbaum, Frisco’s pitching coach had this to say about Mendez.
"“He got the leadoff batter every inning, so that’s always a plus,” Frisco pitching coach Brian Shouse told MiLB.com. “And then that just snowballs into continuing to make good pitches to the second hitter, to the third hitter, and it just continues to carry over. He was attacking with his pitches, with his fastball, with his secondary. Guys were getting in swing mode and he was getting quick outs.”"
Mendez is still currently at Double-A Frisco, but it would be surprising to not see him on the Rangers at some point this season. He’s pitched well enough to earn himself a bullpen role, and could be a future frontline starter in Arlington.