Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rays pitcher Anthony Banda will undergo Tommy John surgery and will likely not return to action until the 2020 season.
Banda, 24, was acquired by the Rays in the three-team trade with the Diamondbacks that also involved the Yankees. The lefty pitched in three games in the majors this season, giving up six runs on 12 hits and three walks with 10 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings. He spent most of his season with Triple-A Durham, posting a 3.64 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 18 walks in 42 innings.
Banda is the third Rays pitcher to need Tommy John surgery this season, joining Brent Honeywell and Jose De Leon. Jake Faria will also be out until late July due to an oblique strain and Chris Archer has been dealing with a groin injury. It’s been a rough year for Rays pitchers.
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.