Trio of PR stars keeping eye on Hurricane Irma

Trio of PR stars keeping eye on Hurricane Irma

ST. PETERSBURG -- There is some question as to where and how strong Hurricane Irma will be when it makes landfall on the U.S. mainland. For Puerto Rico, there's no question what it is facing. The massive storm projected to make direct landfall early Wednesday as a Category 5 storm with sustained winds over 160 mph.

For the Twins' trio of stars born in Puerto Rico -- Jose Berrios, Eddie Rosario and Kennys Vargas -- that is something that weighed heavily on them as they prepared for Tuesday night's game against the Rays.

"It's our job, but the baseball game only goes for 2 1/2-3 hours," Vargas said. "Once it is over we will go back to thinking about our families.

"Obviously, they are taking all the measures to make sure they are safe, but we understand that this will be the biggest hurricane to hit the islands since Hugo. Being here, we worry about our country and what will happen after. We worry about whether they will have electricity or signal for their cell phone, so we don't know how long we will go without talking to our families."

Vargas remembered the destruction that was caused by Hurricane Georges, a Category 4 storm that hit Puerto Rico in 1998. It resulted in more than 600 fatalities and nearly $10 billion in damages as it ripped through the Greater Antilles.

"That was bad," he said. "This one is worse."

The trio agreed that the strength of their countrymen will be the greatest asset to facing the upcoming adversity. The three already have discussed how to help their native country, including monetary contributions.

"The biggest thing is for our community to stay together and be united because we are strongest that way," Vargas said. "We know that it is going to be a tough time and things can get a little rough but if we stick together, everything will be all right."

J. Scott Butherus is a contributor to MLB.com based in St. Petersburg who covered the Twins on Tuesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.