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Mendonca adjusting to Triple-A pitching

Mendonca adjusting to Triple-A pitching

Mendonca adjusting to Triple-A pitching
ROUND ROCK, Texas -- In Double-A Frisco last season, Tommy Mendonca was an All-Star. But with Triple-A Round Rock this year, he's still having trouble adjusting.

"The pitching is the main difference," Mendonca said. "Their sequences are not the same as in Frisco. If you've got two balls and no strikes, you're getting a fastball. Here, when you've got two balls and no strikes, you get a changeup or curveball."

Mendonca, who hit .278 with 25 home runs and 78 RBIs for Frisco in 2011, is batting .213 with seven home runs and 27 RBIs with Round Rock. He was placed on the disabled list twice last month, first on June 2 with a head injury and again on June 19 with a left shoulder injury.

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"It's been tough this year being on the DL for my head and then being on the DL for my shoulder," Mendonca said. "It's just hard because you want to get something going but you get shut down because you've got to go back on the DL. That's the toughest part."

Primarily a third baseman, Mendonca is also trying his hand behind the plate. He hasn't spent much time at catcher but has been catching bullpens in an effort to become more versatile defensively. Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, a three-time Gold Glover, is signed through 2015 while catchers Mike Napoli and Yorvit Torrealba are set to be free agents after this season.

"The past three days, all I've been doing is catching. I believe catching is still in the future," Mendonca said. "At third, you've got Adrian Beltre, who's got three more years and is one of the best, if not the best, third baseman. That's a tough spot to try to take away. With catching, I've got the body and I've got the build for it. Why not try it?"

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