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Colon activated, scratched in place of Mendez

September 1, 2018

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers activated pitcher Bartolo Colon off the disabled list Saturday, but then scratched him from Sunday's start against the Twins with a stomach virus.Colon hasn't pitched since Aug. 20 because of stiffness in his back and is 7-11 with a 5.45 ERA in 23 starts and two

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers activated pitcher Bartolo Colon off the disabled list Saturday, but then scratched him from Sunday's start against the Twins with a stomach virus.
Colon hasn't pitched since Aug. 20 because of stiffness in his back and is 7-11 with a 5.45 ERA in 23 starts and two relief appearances for the season. He is also 45 years old and a free agent after this season.
But manager Jeff Banister said the Rangers still plan on using Colon in September, even though they have a number of younger pitchers they want to look at before the end of the season.
Yohander Mendez is scheduled to start in Colon's place Sunday. Mendez is being brought back to the big leagues for the first time since June 19, when he was demoted to Class A Advanced Down East after violating team rules in Kansas City. The Rangers are satisfied that Mendez has done everything asked of him since the demotion.

"I think he took the challenges with the right attitude, went back down, and he's going to get an opportunity to come back up tomorrow and start for us," Banister said. "The thing that I like about our coaching staff and this organization is that things like that happen. [But if] you go do your work, you're given that opportunity to clean that slate, go do what you need to do."
Mendez was 2-4 with a 4.31 ERA in 13 combined starts for Down East, Double-A Frisco and Triple-A Round Rock since being sent down.
"He was challenged, took the assignment, went all the way back down to 'A' Ball," Banister said. "Reports I got were that he worked his rear end off, physically and mentally, and took all the challenges and met all of them, even when they were a little bit tough. And he has rewarded himself with an opportunity to come back up here and start games for us."
Beltre stays in Texas
The drama surrounding third baseman Adrian Beltre is over after the latest Trade Deadline passed. Friday was the last day a team could acquire a player and have him be eligible for postseason play.
Beltre has been dealing with a strained left hamstring and that probably squelched any interest in him. Whatever the case, Beltre was back in the lineup for the Rangers as their designated hitter Saturday night.
"Deep down probably a little selfish that I'm glad he's still here," Banister said. "On the unselfish side of things, would have like to see him have an opportunity [for postseason]. But he means so much to this organization, and our fan base also. It's why he'll get as many opportunities to play for the rest of the year that he's capable and healthy enough to go get. I think he deserves that, I think he deserves that and our fans deserve that."
Curtis called up
The Rangers called up left-hander Zac Curtis and added him to their bullpen Saturday. Curtis was claimed off waivers from the Phillies on Aug. 7 and pitched in nine games at Round Rock. Over nine innings, he allowed four runs on five hits and six walks while striking out 12.

In 187 games over five Minor League seasons, Curtis has a 2.62 ERA, a 1.12 WHIP and averaged 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings. He has pitched in the big leagues with the D-Backs, Mariners and Phillies over the past three seasons, but has struggled with his control. In 34 Major League games, he has averaged 7.5 walks per nine innings.
"From all the reports we've gotten, he's a tough competitor, loves to pitch," Banister said. "Breaking ball is a good pitch for him. Competitiveness on the mound is probably the thing they liked the most."
Rangers beat
• Pitcher Jose Leclerc was the Rangers' Player of the Month for August. He pitched 10 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just one hit with 18 strikeouts, and was 7-for-7 in save opportunities.

• Rangers left-handed hitters went into Saturday's game with 28 home runs off of lefty pitchers. No other Major League team had more than 15 such home runs this season.
Rougned Odor finished with 29 RBIs in August, tied with Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar for the most in the Major Leagues. It was the fourth highest total in a single month in Rangers history.

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast.