Potomac right-hander Chuy Mendoza is happy doing just about anything for the Cannons and the Cincinnati Reds, be it translating messages between coaches and his Latino teammates, helping younger players make the transition to professional baseball or coming out of the bullpen to throw an inning or two.
After all, it was the Reds who gave Mendoza the chance to pitch again for a major league franchise when they signed him to a free agent contract during spring training.
"I enjoy any job that the Cincinnati Reds give me," said the 26-year-old native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. "If it's in my hands to do something for [his teammates and the organization], I will do it. That's part of a team."
Mendoza was not certain he would get the opportunity to pitch again for a major league organization when the 2003 season opened and he was without a job.
He finally caught on with the Elmira (N.Y.) Pioneers of the independent Northeast League before joining the Reds this past spring.
Now in his eighth season of professional baseball, Mendoza spent an uneventful first five seasons in the Diamondbacks system before being signed by the Angels for the 2002 season.
Although he posted a 3-10 record with the Class AA Arkansas Travelers, he threw a no-hitter on May 13 of that year against the Tulsa Drillers, retiring the final 24 batters he faced.
A starter for the majority of his career, Mendoza has adapted to his new role coming out of Potomac's bullpen. In 242/3 innings, he has compiled a 3-4 record with a 3.81 ERA.
"I'm looking for more innings, more chances to go in, more appearances," Mendoza said. "Why not? It would be a challenge which I would like to have."