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Yohander Mendez injury: Grade 1 UCL strain

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Pitcher Yohander Mendez will miss the first half of the season after being diagnosed with a Grade 1 UCL strain

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Yohander Mendez’s injury has been diagnosed as a grade 1 UCL strain in his left elbow, per the beat guys on Twitter. The Texas Rangers lefty pitcher will be shut down until May 1, but does not need surgery, but will be shut down until May 1, and is expected to be unavailable until the second half of the season.

The good news is that Mendez will avoid going under the knife, at least for now, and should pitch again this season. The bad news for Mendez is that he’s going to be coming back at around the time guys like Joe Palumbo and Brock Burke are expected to be vying for major league innings, and he risks being surpassed by the new crop of starting pitchers coming up.

Mendez was expected to be out of options in 2019, but he was eligible for a fourth option, and after a disappointing camp he was expected to be in AAA as rotation depth. Instead, he appears likely to be on the 60 day injured list to start the season.