Mariners starter Félix Hernández continued to struggle on Tuesday, coughing up 11 runs (seven earned) on eight hits and four walks with two strikeouts in six innings against the Rangers. That brought his ERA on the season to 5.73 with a 99/46 K/BB ratio in 124 innings this season.
Manager Scott Servais was non-committal when asked if Hernández would make his next scheduled start, which would be Sunday in Houston against the Astros. Per ESPN, Servais said, “We’ll see. You have to take a look at where we’re at going forward here. The next time that spot [in the rotation] comes around, we’ll be over in Houston. They’ve also got a good club.” Servais continued, “We’ve got to give ourselves a chance every time out there to win the ballgame. It’s tough to win.”
Hernández, 32, is owed the remainder of his $26 million salary for this season and will earn $27 million next year. That, and the fact that Hernández has been a fan favorite during his 14 years with the franchise, will make it difficult for the Mariners to go through with moving him out of the rotation. But it may be the smartest thing to do, as the club entered Wednesday’s action 7.5 games out of first place in the AL West and two games out of the second Wild Card slot in the AL.
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.