Royals Luis Mendoza, Miguel Tejada Recognized After Caribbean Series

With Monday marking the first reporting date for pitchers and catchers, winter leagues are wrapping up and players are returning to their big league clubs.

September 27, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Luis Mendoza (39) pitches during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

For Royals pitcher Luis Mendoza and hopeful utility player Miguel Tejada, they’ll arrive with some additional accolades.

Mendoza worked seven no-hit innings before giving up a double in the eighth inning in the Caribbean Series on Wednesday night and had another six scoreless innings in a previous start in the Series to win the MVP Award while pitching for Mexico. He surrendered only five hits and struck out 12 batters while walking six. Due in part to his efforts, Mexico won the series and there was much rejoicing.

Tejada hit two homers in seven games and drove in six runs for the Dominican Republic. He also scored four runs while putting up a .300/.405/.533 line building off of a successful Dominican Winter League season where he hit .287/.349/.450. He had an RBI single that tied the championship game up at two in the bottom of the 14th inning on Thursday night (more accurately Friday morning) to keep the Dominican Republic alive. His series earned him a spot on the Series All-Star Team at shortstop.

You can put whatever stock into these performances that you choose. The bright side is that players did well, and while I’m not sold on Mendoza like many others, if he’s going to be on the team, I’m rooting for him. Likewise for Tejada. If he makes it, I’d really rather he be successful than not. Players such as big leaguers Hanley Ramirez and Marlon Byrd were rostered in the Caribbean Series. Players like Julio Lugo and Fernando Tatis were also rostered. Prospects also rounded out rosters, so it was a mix of talent.

After last year’s decent 2012 (and the failings of his competition), this could give Mendoza a longer look as a potential fifth starter when spring training officially gets underway. The Royals say they like him as the long relief guy out of the bullpen, but he outperformed Bruce Chen and Luke Hochevar last year, especially after he was locked into the rotation after Danny Duffy and Felipe Paulino got hurt. Bob Dutton described his situation by saying that Mendoza “has an uphill climb to win a job in the rotation, but it’s a hill, not a mountain.”

Topics: Caribbean Series, Kansas City Royals, Luis Mendoza, Miguel Tejada

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  • Dave Lowe

    Hmm…I’m torn on Mendoza. His 4.23 ERA was good, but on a bad staff. And is 1.42 WHIP was just bad. I grew weary of teams just tagging him for singles all day long.

    With Chen we know what we are going to get: a guy with an ERA near 5 with a bad WHIP and a lot of innings. I am frankly tired of 5 ERA guys pitching for the Royals.

    I’d like to see what Hochevar can do as a #5 starter, hopefully with ALL the pressure of being a #1 off of his shoulders. It’s no mystery (as some people claim) what ails Hochevar: his complete mental and mechanical breakdown when guys get on base against him. For other teams, its like blood in the water for a bunch of sharks: they start hitting like crazy against him and the momentum builds. If the pressure of being a #1 is off of him, perhaps he can put that stigma aside and just pitch like he’s capable – an ERA under 4

    I’m also interested to see what Moscoso can do…not too long ago, he was very good with the A’s.