Left-handed reliever Yohander Mendez has been placed on the suspended list by the Texas Rangers for seeking unauthorized medical care, which is a violation of this contract, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels was tight-lipped and didn’t elaborate with any further details. Generally, MLB players must seek permission before getting outside medical opinions. Sullivan notes that Mendez will be allowed to remain in camp and continue rehabbing his shoulder inflammation, which is presumably the injury he sought outside advice about.
Since making his debut with the Rangers in 2016, Mendez has appeared in 20 games for the team, including five starts in 2018. Over that span, he has produced an ERA of 6.23 with 33 strikeouts over 47 2/3 IP. He was expected to compete for a bullpen spot this year. It remains to be seen whether this suspension will now prevent him from doing so.
This isn’t the first time Mendez has caught the ire of his employers. He was optioned down to the minors in 2018 after a night on the town with Rougned Odor and some members of the Kansas City Royals “got out of hand.” Much like with today’s story, Jon Daniels kept the details of that incident close to his chest.
A few more notes from Rangers camp…
- LHP Kolby Allard was optioned to Triple-A Nashville on Wednesday. The 22-year-old made 9 starts for the club in 2019, producing a 4.96 ERA and compiling 33 strikeouts over 45 1/3 innings pitched. But the offseason additions of Corey Kluber, Kyle Gibson and Jordan Lyles have pushed him into a depth role, at least for the time being.
- RHP Jesse Chavez is not going to be ready for Opening Day, according to Daniels. Chavez has been experiencing “shoulder weakness” this spring as he attempts to come back from the elbow surgery he underwent last August. “We are going to give him a couple of weeks to build up his strength before we get him back on a mound,” Daniels said. “The end of April would be a positive outcome to have him back in games.” The Rangers signed Chavez to a two-year $8MM deal prior to the 2019 season. The veteran oscillated between the rotation and the bullpen in the first year of his deal, accumulating 78 innings over 48 games, including 9 starts, putting up a 4.85 era in that time with 72 strikeouts.