Texas Rangers: Yohander Mendez struggles in first big league start

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ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 15: Yohander Mendez #65 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Colorado Rockies in the top of the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on June 15, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - JUNE 15: Yohander Mendez #65 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Colorado Rockies in the top of the first inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on June 15, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /
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Texas Rangers #7 prospect, Yohander Mendez, took the mound for his first big league start Friday night against the Colorado Rockies. It did not go well.

The Texas Rangers finally went to the farm for some starting pitching help. It did not work out. Texas handed the ball to their #7 prospect, Yohander Mendez, for tonight’s opener against the Colorado Rockies. It was his first major league start.

After shutting out the Rockies in the 1st inning and watching his offense score five runs in the bottom of the 1st, Mendez gave up six runs in the top of the 2nd inning. He was then pulled after the 3rd inning. Granted, the Rockies are a tough team to make a debut start against. But Mendez needed to pitch better, especially with the five runs of support he got out of the gate.

Who knows how permanent Yohander Mendez’s stay will be with the Texas Rangers this go around. He has been up with the team in each of the last three seasons. He was just part of September call-ups in 2016 and 2017. Tonight’s promotion was actually his second one of the 2018 season (he pitched 0.2 innings in relief back on May 12th). Mendez is the most major league ready pitching prospect the Rangers have in their organization. That’s not saying a whole lot as I’m not even sure Texas wants him in the majors right now.

Texas Rangers
SEATTLE, WA – SEPTEMBER 05: Relief pitcher Yohander Mendez #65 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the fifth inning at Safeco Field on September 5, 2016 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /

Unfortunately, they don’t have much of a choice. With Martin Perez and Doug Fister on the disabled list, the Rangers have to find starting pitching somewhere. Not to mention the fact that Matt Moore, Bartolo Colon and Mike Minor have all been struggling as of late. They simply don’t have any depth, not even in the minor leagues. Sunday’s assigned starter springs from the minor leagues as well, but that starter will be MLB veteran Yovani Gallardo.

It’s likely still too early to add Mendez as a regular starter. Of course, he didn’t help his case in tonight’s outing. He’ll be sent back down once Fister or Perez return (both should be back soon). However, expect Yohander Mendez to get an extended look come August or September with the Texas Rangers. A starting pitcher or two will have been traded by then Mendez will be at the top of the list to fill any vacancies.

Next: What is wrong with Nomar Mazara?

It is time for the 23-year-old to show some sort of glimpse of major league quality. He has the stuff to be a quality starter for the Rangers, but he clearly has some work to do in regard to his command. At least, that’s the impression I got from watching him pitch three innings tonight.

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