LOS ANGELES -- The Rangers are taking a hard look at their pitching rotation, assessing their options of both the present and the future.Left-hander Yohander Mendez, who is ranked the Rangers' No. 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline, will join the ballclub from Triple-A Round Rock and start Friday's series opener
LOS ANGELES -- The Rangers are taking a hard look at their pitching rotation, assessing their options of both the present and the future.
Left-hander Yohander Mendez, who is ranked the Rangers' No. 7 prospect by MLB Pipeline, will join the ballclub from Triple-A Round Rock and start Friday's series opener against the Rockies in Arlington, manager Jeff Banister said Wednesday.
Veteran left-hander Matt Moore will be temporarily shifted to a bullpen role in a move Banister hopes will help Moore improve his performance, as well as adjust his delivery.
"This is not a move, in our opinion, that we're just putting him out there to stay," Banister said. "This is a move that we're putting him out there to see if we can get him back on track. See if this can work him up to get him back to where he's used to being."
Meanwhile, the Rangers don't plan on sending Mendez back down to the Minors immediately following his outing Friday. Banister said the Rangers will be taking an extended look at the southpaw, noting the recent loss of right-hander Doug Fister (right knee strain) to the 10-day disabled list as influencing the decision.
"It's going to be multiple starts," Banister said of Mendez's upcoming Major League stint. "He's going to have the opportunity to show us what he can do as a starter."
Mendez, 23, is 0-6 (5.26 ERA) in 10 starts for Triple-A Round Rock this season. He's been a September call-up for Texas each of the past two seasons, and featured with the Rangers earlier this season when he was called up on May 3. He tossed two-thirds of an inning in one relief appearance before being optioned back to Round Rock on May 13. In 10 career Major League appearances -- all in relief -- Mendez has posted a 0-1 record with a 7.31 ERA (13 earned runs across 16 innings).
Banister was adamant the decision to evaluate Mendez in the Majors was not a hint of the team's effort on the field. The Rangers entered Wednesday in last place of the American League West, trailing the first-place Mariners by 17 games.
"We're still in the business of winning baseball games," Banister said. "We're developing players, yes. It's about development, but it is the big leagues, and you still develop and still give yourself the opportunity to win baseball games."
With Mendez slated to start Friday and right-hander Mike Minor scheduled to start Saturday, the Rangers have their next two turns in their rotation decided. Banister said right-hander Bartolo Colon is expected to start Sunday, however the club has not officially announced him yet, in case another player fills in. Among other names in the mix to make the start are Minor League right-handers Yovani Gallardo, Austin Bibens-Dirkx and Ariel Jurado.
Andrus to return when he's ready
Shortstop Elvis Andrus went 1-for-4 during his rehab outing with Double-A Frisco on Tuesday night. Andrus, who landed on the 60-day disabled list with a right elbow olecranon fracture on May 2, served as a designated hitter during the outing after making his rehab debut Monday night at shortstop.
Andrus suffered his injury in April and did not need to undergo surgery. His recovery was expected to take around six to eight weeks, however Banister said Andrus will need to build his stamina back up prior to returning.
"The timetable is when he's physically ready to come back up," Banister said. "Part of his process is getting his legs back in shape to play and continuing to play games day in and day out."
Herrera out for year with torn right flexor tendon
Right-hander Ronald Herrera will miss the remainder of the season with a torn right flexor tendon, according to the Rangers. Herrera underwent a surgical procedure Wednesday.
The 23-year-old made two appearances, tossing three total innings of relief for the Rangers prior to being placed on the 60-day DL on March 21.
Rangers No. 3 prospect works out with Minor League club for first time
Outfielder Julio Pablo Martinez, the Rangers' No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, was assigned to Class A Spokane on Wednesday, marking the first time the Cuban worked out with the club.
Martinez, 21, signed with the organization in March, receiving a $2.8 million signing bonus. He was MLB Pipeline International's No. 2 prospect in 2017.
Kaelen Jones is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.