KANSAS CITY, Mo. - To fully appreciate the concern that goes through Royals right-hander Luis Mendoza's mind these days, you have to go back to 2010.
During April of that year, Mendoza seemingly was having his last chance at a big-league career. Boston, San Diego and Texas already had given up on him.
And here he was with Kansas City, having earned a spot in a shaky Royals' bullpen.
With one final chance to impress a new team, Mendoza completely bombed.
It was painful to watch.
In his first appearance, Mendoza inherited a 2-1 lead against the Tigers. He promptly gave up 5 runs and the Royals lost, 7-3.
Two days later, Mendoza came on in a tight 4-3 game against the Red Sox. Within minutes he had given up three runs and the Royals never recovered in an 8-3 loss.
Finally, a week or so later, Mendoza was tagged for two more runs in another Royals loss. The Royals had little choice but to designate him for assignment shortly thereafter.
In four appearances that spring, Mendoza ...