No change in plan for Mendoza
Fifth starter to open season in Triple-A before April 12 debut
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Luis Mendoza has left no doubt that he belongs in the Rangers' rotation.He'll just have to wait a few more weeks before he gets to enjoy the full benefits and privileges that go with that honor. Right now, it looks like he'll have to spend two weeks with Triple-A Oklahoma before he can get to Texas. Mendoza, in his last start in Arizona, celebrated Easter Sunday with five scoreless innings in pitching the Rangers to a 5-2 victory over the Giants at Surprise Stadium. Mendoza allowed six hits, walked one and struck out two, and has now allowed just one run in his last 10 innings. That has been more than enough to win the fifth starter spot, but it hasn't been enough to displace Kason Gabbard as the Rangers' fourth starter. Manager Ron Washington said after Mendoza's performance that Gabbard still has that job. "I think Gabby deserves it," Washington said. The distinction is important. The Rangers, because of two off-days, don't need their fifth starter until April 12, so the plan is to send Mendoza to Triple-A Oklahoma for the first two weeks of the season.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.