Texas Rangers: Should Yohander Mendez Join The Rotation in 2018?

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ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 15: A detail of the Texas Rangers logo painted on the wall outside the locker room is seen against the New York Yankees in Game One of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 15, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 15: A detail of the Texas Rangers logo painted on the wall outside the locker room is seen against the New York Yankees in Game One of the ALCS during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 15, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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This upcoming off-season is going to be busy for the Texas Rangers as they attempt to fill the holes in their starting rotation. Could the organization save some money and move young lefty Yohander Mendez into the rotation?

Over the last few seasons the Texas Rangers have been careful with how they use young pitching prospect Yohander Mendez. The past few years the organization has seen too many players rushed to the MLB, and fail to make the transition.

Since 2016 the Rangers have been using Mendez exclusively as a starting pitcher in the minor leagues. He has yet to make a start in the MLB as the organization has chosen to put him in the bullpen during both his promotions.

The 22-year-old lefty is young and has more to learn, but that doesn’t mean he’s not ready for the next step. This season in Triple-A, Mendez went 7-8 with a 3.79 ERA in 24 starts and 124 strikeouts.

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The Rangers gave him a brief opportunity in the bullpen this season, but he failed to find any consistency. That doesn’t mean Mendez shouldn’t be in the MLB, but maybe the bullpen isn’t the best fit for him.

It makes sense that the Rangers would consider Mendez for a rotation spot. The organization believes he has frontline starter ability, and he should get a chance to show off his skills. In the worst case scenario the Rangers move him back into the bullpen.

Once the 2018 spring hits Mendez should get an opportunity to start in the rotation. At some point the Rangers need to let him struggle and learn at the MLB level. Mendez might not be an ace starter, but could bring something useful to the rotation.

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