Texas Rangers: Can Yohander Mendez Positively Impact The Bullpen?
By Andrew Webb
The September call-ups are here and ready to make an impact on the Texas Rangers roster. How will young pitching prospect Yohander Mendez handle moving the big league bullpen?
The Texas Rangers have added plenty of arms to their September bullpen, but one pitcher stands out above the rest. That would be No. 4 prospect according to MLB.com 22-year-old lefty Yohander Mendez.
This will be his second time joining the Rangers bullpen as Mendez pitched in two games out of the pen last season. He allowed six earned runs in three innings, but hopefully has fixed his mechanics from a year ago.
This season Mendez is 7-8 with a 3.79 ERA in 24 starts in Triple-A Round Rock. He’s pitched well allowing just 114 hits in 137.2 innings of work with 124 strikeouts. Can he make the transition from the rotation to the bullpen.
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The Rangers do believe Mendez has the stuff to be a frontline pitcher in the starting rotation. Sadly for Mendez the rotation is full, and he’ll need to impress the team out of the bullpen if he wants a shot in the starting rotation.
This is the chance that Mendez has been waiting for since he joined the Rangers as a 17-year-old kid. He’s pitched his way up the minor leagues and is now at the promised land, but can he succeed here?
The Rangers believe he can, and he’ll get an opportunity to prove he’s ready to be an important part of the future in Arlington. The bullpen is likely not a long-term home for Mendez, but the Rangers need to see if his command is ready for the Majors.
Adding Mendez to the roster is a big win for the Rangers squad. It gives the Rangers another left-handed option besides Jake Diekman and closer Alex Claudio. It’s unlikely Texas uses Mendez in high leverage situations, but having him on the roster is a positive for the organization.