MLB.com Columnist

Jesse Sanchez

Players' thoughts with Puerto Rico ahead of hurricane

Players' thoughts with Puerto Rico ahead of hurricane

Edwin Diaz's tweet was only 27 characters long and in Spanish and the message from the Seattle closer spoke to everyone, especially those in harm's way.

Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, is strengthening and threatening Puerto Rico, home to Diaz and several other Major Leaguers. The winds from the storm, which has been upgraded to a "potentially catastrophic" hurricane by the National Hurricane Center, could impact the island as early as Wednesday.

Dios proteja a nuestra isla, Diaz wrote. God protect our island.

Diaz was among the many to express concern through social media while waiting for the storm to either hit or miss the island. For now, the players preach preparedness. Relief -- in one form or the other -- will come later.

"Praying for my family, friends and everybody back in Puerto Rico Orando por mis familiares, amigos y todos en PR #HuracánIrma," Astros shortstop Carlos Correa tweeted early Tuesday.

"Obviously, we're praying for everybody out there, the family that's there, friends, everybody in Puerto Rico that's there," Correa said Tuesday afternoon. "It's something devastating going on over there, but we're just praying for it to go away. Right now, I can't say much. Nothing's happened and we're hoping that nothing happens at all. Right now all we can do is pray and hope for the best and hopefully nobody gets hurt."

Social media was full of messages for Puerto Rico. Cubs infielder Javier Báez sent a heartfelt video to encourage the people back home. Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch, who, like Correa, watched his city suffer the effects of Hurricane Harvey, asked to "add Puerto Rico in your prayers as our Astros brothers' families are bracing for Irma."

"It's tough, you know, but we pray for the best and we hope that everybody back home is OK," Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor said. "It's unfortunate. Hopefully it doesn't hit us as bad as it might hit us, but you keep them in your prayers."

Back in Puerto Rico, people are hoping for the best and preparing for the worst, stocking up on nonperishables, water and other supplies. The sounds of hammering protective panels on the sides of houses echoes throughout some neighborhoods and streets remain busy.

"We have been hit many, many times, but it's been a long time since a big storm like this has gone through Puerto Rico," Astros outfielder Carlos Beltran said. "You just have to hope that people are taking precautions and they're taking the news seriously. Hopefully people prepare for it and whatever happens, there's no tragedies."

Ricardo Rossello, the governor of Puerto Rico, declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard on Monday in anticipation of Hurricane Irma. Storm damage from the hurricane could lead to severe flooding, power problems and other serious issues on the island.

"Puerto Rico's never gone through a Category 5 hurricane," Dodgers utility player Enrique Hernandez said. "I know they said we're preparing for the worst-case scenario. Could be three or four months without power. It's a really scary situation. We just really helpless right now."

Stateside, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has already declared a state of emergency in the state. Hurricane Irma is expected to impact Florida later this week.

"There's nothing you can do until it happens," Hernandez said. "I lived through Hurricane George. I was 7 years old and I remember it like an adult. That was only a Category 4. I don't know what's going to happen."

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook. Brian McTaggart contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.