Texas Rangers pitcher Yohander Mendez has been sent down for “violating team rules,” per the beat guys on Twitter. Mendez, who was slated to start for the Rangers tomorrow against the Kansas City Royals, has been optioned to AAA Round Rock.
Not much in the way of details has come out at this point. It was apparently not something that happened at Kauffman Stadium, per the beats, but was “personal behavior” that also involved other players who are being disciplined, though no one else is being sent down. Austin Bibens-Dirkx has been recalled from AAA Round Rock and will start tomorrow instead.
This is a rather weird story, and is particularly bad for Mendez, who had been called up to replace Matt Moore in the rotation despite not having pitched particularly well in Round Rock this season. The 23 year old Mendez was handed a rotation spot, and struggled in his first outing on Friday, giving up 6 runs in 3 innings of work against the Colorado Rockies after having been staked to a 5-0 lead.
So it sounds like some players were engaged in general knuckleheadery, and Mendez has lost, for now, his shot at being in the major league rotation after getting a break he probably hadn’t earned anyway, and some other guys are on double super secret probation, but we don’t know, for now, who they are.
UPDATE — One might read between the lines here and identify one other person who is being disciplined:
Rougned Odor is also no longer in Rangers lineup tonight. Jeff Banister declined to say if this was related to incident involving Mendez... But Gallo has day off & Banister explained that was scheduled— Evan Grant (@Evan_P_Grant) June 19, 2018
UPDATE II — Per the S-T, Mendez and Odor were out last night with some Royals players, and things “got out of hand for Mendez.” Whatever that means, exactly.