Rolando Menendez Fernandez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
Rolando Menendez won over 100 games in the minor leagues.
Menendez debuted in 1975, pitching for the Bluefield Orioles (0-2, 7.58) and Cortazar (9-5, Sv, 1.85). He was 7th in the Mexican Center League in ERA, well back of teammate Alvaro Soto's 0.63. In 1976, he was called up to Cortazar's parent club, the Saraperos de Saltillo, and he would spend the rest of his career in the Mexican League. He pitched one scoreless inning for Saltillo in '76, allowing two hits. The teenager was 0-1 with a 2.45 ERA for the club in 1977. In '78, he was 4-5 with a 5.11 ERA. He entered the Saltillo rotation in 1979 and posted a 18-8, 3.35 record. He was second on the Saraperos staff in wins, behind Miguel Solis's 25.
The right-hander fell to 10-9 with a save and a 4.33 ERA in 1980 before the strike. He intentionally walked 17 batters, most in the league. After the strike, he was much sharper at 6-1, 1.86, 8th in ERA between Solis and Ramiro Sauceda. The El Jicaro native rebounded to 15-9, 2.84 in 1981. He led his club in victories. In 1982, the Saltillo hurler reached 15 wins for the 4th straight year at 15-12, 3.91. He tied Solis for the most wins by a Sarapero hurler.
Rolando had a 10-10, 3.82 campaign in 1983 then struggled at 7-10, 5.73 for the 1984 Leones de Yucatan. In '85, he was 5-14 with a 4.74 ERA between the Piratas de Campeche and Bravos de Leon. The next year, the veteran was working out of the bullpen for Leon and the Cafeteros de Cordoba, with a combined mark of 5-6, 5.77 and one save. In 1987, he was even worse at 2-7 with a save and a 7.33 ERA for the Acereros de Monclova and the Tigres del Mexico. He wrapped up his career in 1988 with four runs in 2 1/3 innings for the Tigres.
Overall, Menendez was 97-92 with a 4.19 ERA in 301 Mexican League games (201 starts). He had 12 shutouts and 3 saves. In 1,489 innings, he gave up 1,652 hits and 549 walks while striking out 567.