Tigers Claim Mendoza Off Waivers

The Hanshin Tigers announced on August 31st that they had successfully acquired the services of pitcher Luis Mendoza (33) from the Nippon Ham Fighters, who waived him late last week. Mendoza is a native of Mexico, and is in his fourth year in NPB. He will wear number 75, and is expected to step into the rotation while Randy Messenger recovers from his broken fibula bone.

At his press conference on Thursday afternoon, Mendoza said, “I heard all about the Hanshin Tigers when I first came to Japan. I am glad to be a part of the organization, and I hope to be able to help the team to win.”

When he answered a press question about his nickname, and was told that the team already had a “Mendy” (farm pitcher Roman Mendez), he said, “Oh, that’s no good. I guess the fans will have to think up of a new nickname for me. Anything’s fine with me.”

While he practiced at the team’s indoor facility on this day, no schedule has been set for September 1st and beyond. He did mention, though, that he is “ready to throw anytime.”

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T-Ray is the founder, chief writer and Junior Executive Vice President of Hanshin Tigers English News (H-TEN). Find him on Twitter @thehanshintiger.