SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Pitcher Luis Mendoza arrived in camp on Monday and accepted congratulations for being named Most Valuable Player of his Obregon team from Mexico, which won the Caribbean Series last week.
Mendoza's final victory put Mexico in the title game. He had a no-hitter for seven innings against Puerto Rico but reached the 100-pitch mark. The no-no ended in the eighth, and Mendoza was taken out of the game.
If the no-hitter had continued, would he have tried to finish the game?
"Yeah, probably," Mendoza said, laughing.
But, more seriously, he added, "When I was pitching, I was thinking about it -- shut it down because Spring Training was around the corner. I thought about it. I told the manager, 'Hey, I would like to stay in the game, but you better get some people ready [in the bullpen].' "
The decision was made easier after he surrendered a double to start the eighth. After an out and a single, Mendoza was pulled after expending 113 pitches. In his last three games for Obregon, he threw a total of 19 1/3 shutout innings.
"I was very happy for my country and for the year I had," he said. "I hope to bring that into Spring Training, keep working hard and keep pitching like that."
Manager Ned Yost has Mendoza in the competition for the No. 5 rotation spot along with Luke Hochevar, Bruce Chen, Everett Teaford and Will Smith.