With Jason Frasor and Joakim Soria gone, and Neal Cotts likely to follow, the Texas Rangers are beginning to look to the future in their bullpen, for which they rarely go fishing on the free agent market and prefer to build from within.
Neftali Feliz is back in his closer's role and is 2-for-2 on save opportunities, so far, and another big, young arm is stepping forward in the form of Roman Mendez.
Mendez was riding a streak of eight scoreless innings entering his appearance in Tuesday's 12-11 loss to the New York Yankees, and another inning would've eclipsed the club record for consecutive scoreless frames to begin a big-league career.
Unfortunately for Mendez, Alexi Ogando is still a part of Rangers history as he remained tied with Mendez for the mark after the rookie was lit up for two runs after walking two batters on Tuesday and letting the Yankees get some late and necessary cushion on their lead.
After the game while speaking to reporters, manager Ron Washington praised Mendez for his start to his career. The Rangers seem to be very high on him, and rightfully so, as he uses a good mix of pitches and has an imposing presence on the mound.
Mendez was acquired in 2010 from Boston for Jarrod Saltalamacchia.
He now has a 1.50 ERA and seven strikeouts in 12 innings and has appeared to lock up a platoon role as the team's setup man with Cotts. Once Cotts is shipped out, which is expected, he could be the primary setup man.