Texas Rangers

Rangers Reaction: Kansas City night provided opening to reset Mendez's development

Mike Minor explains recent success of Rangers’ rotation, future of his sweet mustache

Texas Rangers left-hander allowed one run in six innings Friday in an 8-1 victory that extended the club’s MLB-leading winning streak to six. Get a good look that mustache.
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Texas Rangers left-hander allowed one run in six innings Friday in an 8-1 victory that extended the club’s MLB-leading winning streak to six. Get a good look that mustache.

The start of the bottom of the eighth inning Friday night was delayed a couple minutes while head athletic trainer Kevin Harmon tended to Delino DeShields for what seems to be a common occurrence in the northern-most cities in baseball.

An insect flew into his eye.

Cleveland is notorious for midges, and not just at Progressive Field. Hotels there warn guests to not open their windows.

It's not as bad here, though the open-air press box at Target Field was infested with flying things that made a mess when squished.

No eye contact, though. So we've got that going for us, which is nice.

The Rangers have a six-game winning streak going for them.

Here's some Rangers Reaction from an 8-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins.

1. The plan for Yohnader Mendez, which the Rangers announced Friday, was going to happen if he'd just simply gone back to the hotel and gone to sleep Monday night.

But he didn't, and his demotion to High A Down East has the look and feel of being about his ill-fated night out in Kansas City.

(Martin Perez opening his rehab assignment Monday at Low A Hickory feels fishy, too.)

While the Rangers are saying the trip to North Carolina isn't more punishment for Mendez's drunken behavior, it absolutely is related to it.

The Rangers found an excuse, or the night confirmed what they were sensing, to push the reset button on Mendez, who pitched poorly at Triple A Round Rock before his promotion and didn't do much to change that June 15 in his first career MLB start.

Maybe they thought the promotion would spark Mendez. Instead, it confirmed that he isn't ready to be a major-league starter. I guess they had to see it to believe it.

The Rangers spoke Friday as if Mendez still has a chance to pitch in the majors this season and to have a fruitful career, and said that Mendez is all for their new development plan for him.

Of course, he's in no position to object, but if he is truly pleased with this plan, that suggests he knows he has been off all season. That begs the question: Why didn't the Rangers do this sooner?

The Mendez decision is another blow to the Rangers in their efforts to develop a starting pitcher. Cole Ragans was lost to Tommy John surgery a few months ago, Kyle Cody was injured in spring training and has yet to surface, and now Alex Speas needs Tommy John surgery.

Jonathan Hernandez looked like a bright spot after his great start to the season at Down East, but he's 0-2 with a 10.00 ERA and 11 walks in his first two starts with Double A Frisco.

In a season (or two or three) dedicated to development, the Rangers are off to a pretty lousy start.

2. Mike Minor was reminded of the scene in Bull Durham, the one when Crash tells Nuke not to, um, mess with a winning streak. Minor is on the verge of messing with one.

He has started two of the six wins in the Rangers' current streak, and has worn a mustache in each one. When asked about the power of the soup strainer, Minor flirted with disaster.

"I'm think I might take it off," he said. "I'm tired of looking like a dips---."

(He might have said dipstick, but, well, he didn't.)

He didn't look that way on the mound, allowing one run in six innings. The lone run came in the sixth in an inning that could have been a lot worse but also could have been scoreless.

He threw 35 pitches and lost the strike zone for a bit, issuing two walks, but manager Jeff Banister let him try to get out of it. That came as a bit of surprise, considering the kid gloves the Rangers have handled Minor with this season.

But Banister stayed away from the bullpen, and Minor kept him away the bullpen. It might not go down a significant moment in Minor's return to starting pitching, but it could be a moment that helps him start getting through six and seven innings more regularly and with more ease.

The mustache would help, too.

3. This one somehow eluded the grasp of the usually intrepid Star-Telegram staff:

The Rangers will not have an inductee into their Hall of Fame this year, and instead will honor outfielder Vladimir Guerrero for his induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Guerrero was a key component of the Rangers' first World Series team in 2010, and to honor him is also a way to honor that club. He will be joined by members of the 2010 Rangers the weekend of Aug. 3, with a ceremony Aug. 4 at Globe Life Park.

He will be the guest of honor Aug. 3 at the Dr Pepper Hall of Fame Luncheon at the Globe, where he will be joined by 2017 Baseball Hall inductee Ivan Rodriguez. Guerrero batted .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBIs for the Rangers.

Tickets can be purchased online by visiting texasrangers.com/hallofffame or by calling 817-622-7883.

The lack of a Rangers Hall inductee this year shows that the Rangers are running low on candidates. Josh Hamilton becomes a candidate as soon as he announces his retirement, and the same goes for others of that era.

Who will eventually get in from those teams? Hamilton is a yes. Colby Lewis will get serious consideration. Ian Kinsler, his fractured relationship with general manager Jon Daniels, will, too. Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Ron Washington are no-brainers.

Michael Young is already in.

Did Derek Holland and David Murphy do enough during their time with the team?

I'm guessing Nelson Cruz will be bypassed, because it didn't end well. A case could be made for C.J. Wilson. Seriously. Among Rangers not from that era, Will Clark and Bobby Witt are candidates. I'm sure there are other that aren't leaping to mind at 11:30 p.m.

Check back next summer on this one.

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