Saturday, February 24, 2018
Sports

Commissioner: Puerto Rico decision near

The Marlins and Pirates will find out within the next few days if they will play in Puerto Rico this month.

Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday that the announcement on whether the two-game series will be moved because of concerns about the Zika virus will be made today or Monday "at the latest."

The teams are scheduled to play May 30-31 in San Juan to celebrate Roberto Clemente Day, a league-wide tribute honoring the late Pirates Hall of Famer and Puerto Rico native. But with players on both sides expressing concern about Zika, the games might be moved to Miami since the Marlins are the designated home team.

"We are in the process of still having discussions with a variety of interested parties, mostly outside the game … before we make a final decision and announcement," Manfred said in Chicago before Thursday's game between the White Sox and Boston Red Sox.

U.S. health officials say Puerto Rico is on the front lines of the nation's battle with Zika.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said Zika can cause a birth defect called microcephaly, where infants are born with unusually small heads. The virus is most often spread by mosquito bites, but it also can be spread through sexual intercourse.

Manfred said he also expects a decision soon on suspended Rockies SS Jose Reyes, echoing comments he made last month. Three weeks ago, a Hawaii judge approved dismissing a domestic abuse charge stemming from an Oct. 31 incident with his wife at a Maui resort. But the judge gave prosecutors about two years to refile charges if Reyes' wife cooperates, something she has not been doing.

Reyes was suspended with pay under baseball's new domestic abuse policy, an action Manfred took just before the shortstop was to report to spring training.

HEYWARD BACK: Cubs OF Jason Heyward returned from a wrist injury after CF Dexter Fowler was ejected for arguing balls and strikes during the game against the visiting Nationals. Heyward was held out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game, but he tested his ailing wrist during batting practice. He had planned to return today but trotted out to center after Fowler was tossed for arguing with plate umpire Vic Carpazza after he struck out looking to end the third.

INDIANS: C Roberto Perez will have surgery on his fractured right thumb today. He was injured while tagging a runner Saturday against Philadelphia.

WHITE SOX: LHP John Danks was designated for assignment and RHP Erik Johnson was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte. Danks, 31, went 7-15 with a 4.71 ERA in 30 starts last season and got hit hard while dropping his first four outings this year.

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