Given the age of the Phillies’ roster, if you asked many of them, “What do you think about Brian Wilson?” you might get a few “I love the Beach Boys!” replies. Brian Wilson the baseball player, however, will be showing off his surgically-repaired right arm in front of several teams, including the Phillies, on Thursday, according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki.
Wilson made two appearances with the Giants last season before landing on the disabled list, ultimately requiring Tommy John surgery. He is relatively young at 31 and could be had cheaply with an incentive-laden contract, depending on how many teams consider him a legitimate option for their bullpens.
The Phillies recently received word they will be without relievers Mike Adams and Jeremy Horst for the rest of the season. At 4.36, the Phillies have the National League’s worst bullpen ERA. But, with a 49-50 record and seven games out of first place in the NL East entering tonight’s game against the Cardinals, the Phillies still consider themselves contenders.
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.