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Rangers cut Luis Mendoza, Brian Gordon

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  • Rangers cut Luis Mendoza, Brian Gordon

    SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have optioned pitcher Luis Mendoza to Triple-A Oklahoma City and re-assigned reliever Brian Gordon to Minor League camp.

    Mendoza had a 3.86 ERA and held opponents to a .229 batting average. But he also walked seven batters in 9 1/3 innings and a blister problem that developed midway through Spring Training kept him from mounting a serious challenge for a spot on the Opening Day roster.

    Mendoza, who began last season as the Rangers' fifth starter, will be a part of the RedHawks rotation at Oklahoma City.

    Gordon, who appeared in three games with the Rangers at the end of last season, had allowed five runs in four innings and opponents were 7-for-18 off him.

    The Rangers now have 23 pitchers in camp, although that includes Joaquin Benoit and Eric Hurley. Both had shoulder surgery before camp and are out for the season.

    The 21 pitchers left include:

    • The set rotation of Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Scott Feldman, Matt Harrison and Brandon McCarthy.

    • Veteran rotation candidates Jason Jennings and Kris Benson.

    • Closer Frank Francisco and left-handed setup relievers C.J. Wilson and Eddie Guardado.

    • Right-handed setup/middle relief candidates Warner Madrigal, Brendan Donnelly, Derrick Turnbow, Willie Eyre, Josh Rupe, Dustin Nippert and Doug Mathis.

    • Recently acquired left-handed reliever Jimmy Gobble and injured right-handed pitcher Tommy Hunter.

    • Top prospects Neftali Feliz and Derek Holland, who are still in camp but will eventually start the season in the Oklahoma City rotation.

    Guardado has been sidelined with shoulder stiffness but is expected to pitch Wednesday in a Minor League game. Nippert (strained back muscle) has started long-tossing, and Hunter (groin) has begun a throwing program.

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