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Friday, February 26, 2010
Camp Chat: Luis Mendoza

By Richard Durrett

I know Luis Mendoza isn't the biggest name on the roster, but I think he's one of those forgotten minor leaguers trying to prove himself. He played in 25 games (18 starts) for Triple-A Oklahoma City last year and was 6-7 with a 4.53 ERA. But he felt better about his game during winter ball. Mendoza was 7-4 with a 2.89 ERA in 14 starts (90 1/3 innings). Opponents batted .249 against him and he had 82 strikeouts and 27 walks. Here's a quick conversation I had with Mendoza:

Q: You’ve said this is a big year for you. Talk about that.

A: It’s a competition. They signed new guys and they want a good group in the big leagues. I have to show I can do this. I feel good. I had a good season and I want to do the same things and use more pitches to have success. I feel confident.

Q: Was there something in particular you worked on this offseason?

A: I used my curveball more. I was using mainly fastballs and stick with sinkers. The curveball was good. Sometimes the hitters didn’t expect a curve and I struck out people. I worked on command, too. I threw first-pitch strikes.

Q: What do you think will happen to you this year?

A: I’m confident that good things are coming for me. I’m trying to stay healthy and show them that I can pitch.