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Diamondbacks are in a hideous offensive slump

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The Diamondbacks were fourth in the NL in OPS and fifth in runs while going 20-8 during the first month of the season. May, though, has been a problem. After collecting just four hits in an 8-2 loss to the Brewers on Wednesday, the Diamondbacks find themselves batting .190 this month. Here’s the team’s offensive rankings among NL teams this month:

AVG: .190, last in NL (26 points worse than 14th-place St. Louis)
OBP: .267, last in NL (13 points worse than 14th-place New York)
SLG: .301, last in NL (55 points worse than 14th-place San Diego)
Home runs: 10, tied for last in NL with San Diego
Strikeouts: 151, most in NL (two more than San Francisco)
Runs: 38, last in NL (one fewer than a Mets team that’s played two fewer games)

Arizona’s best hitter this year, A.J. Pollock, just landed on the DL with a thumb fracture and is expected to miss at least a month. Paul Goldschmidt‘s OPS has fallen under .700. With Pollock on the DL, the only two Diamondbacks who have been even league average hitters this year are David Peralta (.279/.359/.483) and, incredibly, Daniel Descalso, who has a team-high .363 OBP and is slugging .514. The OBP is 45 points better than his career mark, while the slugging percentage is 155 points better.

The good news for the Diamondbacks is that the team is still 25-18, and no one else in the NL West is seems all that interested in stepping up. Jake Lamb will soon return from his shoulder injury, and Steven Souza should get it going after struggling in his first two weeks back from a five-week absence due to a pectoral strain.

Still, the Diamondbacks badly need Goldschmidt to figure it out, especially now that Pollock is out. His exit velocity remains strong. His strikeout rate is way up — he’s fanned in 30 percent of his plate appearances — but his swinging-strike rate isn’t all that bad. Maybe the humidor is in his head. There’s little doubt that the change in Chase Field baseball is taking a toll on Arizona’s offense at home, but the effect isn’t as severe as Goldschmidt’s numbers would suggest; he’s hitting .140 with no homers at home, compared to .294 with four homers on the road. It might actually be a good thing for the team that it starts a nine-game road swing against the Mets on Friday.

Rafael Devers won’t visit White House with Red Sox

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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.