Alex Rodriguez isn’t due back from knee surgery until mid-August, but instead of relying on Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Laird as fill-ins the Yankees have another option at third base: Eric Chavez.
The oft-injured veteran has been on the disabled list since May with a fractured foot, but went 7-for-21 (.333) with a homer and two doubles during a brief minor-league rehab assignment and is in the Yankees’ starting lineup tonight.
Counting on Chavez to play every day is obviously crazy at this point, but using him at third base versus most right-handed pitchers while Nunez steps into the lineup against most left-handed pitchers makes some sense. Chavez hit .310 with an .834 OPS in 17 games prior to the fractured foot and was a six-time Gold Glove winner at third base before all the injuries derailed his career. Maybe he can stay healthy until Rodriguez returns in a few weeks, at least.
The World Series champion Red Sox are scheduled to visit President Trump in the White House on February 15. Some have speculated that manager Álex Cora, who is from Puerto Rico and has been critical of Trump and has been a big factor in Hurricane Maria relief efforts, might not go as a form of protest. Thus far, nothing concrete has been reported on that front.
However, third baseman Rafael Devers says he isn’t going to join the Red Sox on their visit to the White House, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports. Devers would prefer to focus on baseball, as the Red Sox open spring training on February 13 and position players have to report on February 17. Per Chris Mason, Devers also said via a translator, “The opportunity was presented and I just wasn’t compelled to go.”
Devers hails from the Dominican Republic and he, like many of Major League Baseball’s foreign-born player base, might not be happy about Trump’s immigration policies. Understandably, he is being tight-lipped about his motivation, but it wouldn’t be surprising if Devers is making a silent protest by choosing not to attend. He is thus far the only member of the team to bow out.
Devers, 22, hit .240/.298/.433 with 21 home runs, 66 RBI, and 59 runs scored in 490 plate appearances last season.
Last year, when the Astros visited Trump at the White House, they did so without Carlos Correa and Carlos Beltrán. Both are from Puerto Rico. It is certainly not unprecedented for individual players to opt out of the White House visit.
No word yet on what food will be served during Boston’s trip to the nation’s capital, but the smart money is on hamberders.