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Yohander Mendez to high-A, Alex Speas to have Tommy John surgery

Demoted starter Yohander Mendez is going to Down East for a “Reset”, and Alex Speas is having Tommy John surgery

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Texas Rangers Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Rangers made announcements regarding pitchers Yohander Mendez and Alex Speas, one of them being bad news, one of them just being unusual.

Bad news first...2016 second round draft pick Alex Speas is undergoing Tommy John surgery. Speas is a hard throwing right hander who has battled control problems throughout his career, but who had shown improvement since moving to the bullpen. Speas will presumably miss most of the 2019 season, along with the rest of the 2018 season. The Rangers first round pick in 2016, Cole Ragans, also had Tommy John surgery this year, and is expected to be out until May, 2019.

The unusual news is that, per the beats, Yohander Mendez is being sent to Down East in the high-A Carolina League. This is supposedly not punitive, but part of a “reset,” with Roy Silver accompanying him to work with him on a program to help him “focus on his craft.” Mendez, who is on his final option, has pitched for Round Rock this year, has not pitched particularly well, but was promoted to the major league rotation anyway. He made one start, pitched poorly, and then got demoted before his scheduled start two days ago due to a violation of team rules.