Texas Rangers

Rangers awaiting word on baseball technicality that could affect Mendez’s future with club

Defense key part of Allard’s outing in Rangers’ win

Texas Rangers rookie Kolby Allard allowed one run over 6 1/3 innings in a 3-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles, and thanked the fielders behind him.
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Texas Rangers rookie Kolby Allard allowed one run over 6 1/3 innings in a 3-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles, and thanked the fielders behind him.

Yohander Mendez returned to the Texas Rangers’ active roster Thursday, roughly six months after he injured his elbow in a spring-training game.

He knows the opportunities he missed, and isn’t sure what his future holds.

Neither are the Rangers, who will work the left-hander as a reliever this month. They also aren’t 100 percent sure if Mendez will have a minor-league option for 2020.

He was granted a fourth option after last season, which allowed the Rangers to keep him on the 40-man roster through the off-season. They will learn this off-season if he is burned his option.

The Rangers believe he did not.

A player uses his option once he spends 20 days in the minors, not including days on rehab assignments. Mendez spent only 10 days this season on optional assignment, so he should have an option again in 2020.

“Not confirmed until after the season, but we believe so,” general manager Jon Daniels said.

The Rangers could still take Mendez off their 40-man roster this off-season to create a spot for a free-agent pick up for to add a minor-league player who otherwise would be exposed to the Rule 5 draft.

However, there would be a good risk of losing him on a waiver claim if he was designated for assignment. Mendez, though, understands that he’s at a potential crossroads in his career.

“They’ve got a decision, but I’ve got to make it my decision,” Mendez said. “If I’m throwing well, they will make a good decision.

“For me, it’s hard because he were had a lot of opportunity. I’m trying to do the best I can and see what happens.”

The Rangers aren’t sure if they will let Mendez start next season. His fastball-changeup combination could play well as a reliever, and that might intrigue the Rangers.

They also have three left-handed starters — Kolby Allard, Brock Burke and Joe Palumbo — who have leap-frogged Mendez. Four might be too many.

“In a very right handed-hitting division,” manager Chris Woodward said. Hopefully they’re reverse-split guys.”

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After 11 seasons covering the Rangers for the Star-Telegram, Jeff Wilson knows that baseball is a 24/7/365 business and there is far more to baseball than just the 162 games each season. There’s also more to Jeff -- like a family and impressive arsenals of Titleist hats and adidas shoes -- but sometimes it’s hard to tell.
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