On Monday, we learned that Angels closer Keynan Middleton was seeking a second opinion after being diagnosed with damage to his ulnar collateral ligament. That second opinion confirmed that Middleton will need season-ending Tommy John surgery. The Angels announced the news on Thursday, adding that the right-hander will meet with team doctors to discuss the timeline and a formal plan of care.
Middleton, 24, showed flashes of greatness in his brief time as the Angels’ closer. He racked up six saves with a 2.04 ERA and a 16/9 K/BB ratio in 17 2/3 innings. His 2018 is finished and he likely won’t appear until late in the 2019 season at the earliest as well.
Jim Johnson, Cam Bedrosian, Blake Parker, and Justin Anderson are all in the mix to handle save situations. The Angels haven’t had many opportunities while Middleton has been out so far as the club lost two games and won one in walk-off fashion. Anderson got the save on Monday.
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.