Diaz relieved to speak with family in Puerto Rico

Mariners closer finally makes contact after Hurricane Maria struck island

Diaz relieved to speak with family in Puerto Rico

OAKLAND -- Seven days after Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, wreaking destruction and wiping out power to the entire island, Mariners closer Edwin Diaz finally spoke to his parents on Monday for the first time.

And the relief in the reliever's voice was evident as he played out the same scenario so many families are dealing with in trying to communicate in the wake of the Category 5 storm.

"It's the first time I heard from them," said Diaz, who had been told by a cousin last Wednesday that the family was at least OK. "They had to drive 25 minutes and get somebody's phone to call me. But they called and I'm happy. They told me everybody is good. I'm so glad to hear that.

"I've just been waiting for them to call," said the 23-year-old. "I'm more relaxed now. I'm just waiting for the season to be over and then I'll go home with them."

Being so far from home is hard enough, but when that home is suddenly blacked out by a powerful storm and the only news you get is the difficult drama playing out on television news channels, it's hard to imagine the emotions Diaz and his countrymates are feeling.

"Everybody is worried about everything," he said. "We all worry about our families, but we are also worried about [the entire country of] Puerto Rico. They support us all and this is the time for us to support them. We're trying to do everything we can to get supplies to Puerto Rico. We're trying to do a lot of things that are impossible, but let's see what we can do."

Diaz is working with veteran Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, another Puerto Rican native who has a foundation already in place, to raise money and send food and supplies.

These concerns don't just hit close to home. They have literally hit the homes of these players and their family and friends. Diaz's grandmother's house was damaged, but he said his parents have a generator and enough water and food for now, at least.

"I want to go home as soon as the season is over and check on things myself," Diaz said. "I want to check my wife's family, too. We haven't heard anything from them yet. She wants to go there and I want to support her to see her family, too. It's tough. It's really tough."

Worth noting

• Mariners shortstop Jean Segura will sit out the entire A's series as he recovers from the right middle finger sprain that he sustained in Saturday's loss to the Indians.

"He's feeling a little better," manager Scott Servais said. "Hopefully he'll be available this weekend. He wants to get back in there before the season is over. That's important to him. But he's not going to be available for a couple days."

Segura leaves with an injury

• Servais said no decision has been finalized yet on who'll start on the mound in Seattle's final three games in Anaheim. James Paxton and Erasmo Ramirez will start on Tuesday and Wednesday against the A's. The initial plan, before getting eliminated from playoff contention, was to have Mike Leake pitch Friday in Anaheim, followed by Felix Hernandez on Saturday and Paxton in the season finale.

"It's probably something we'll be ready to announce [Tuesday]," Servais said. "We want to do the smart thing. We're not going to the playoffs, which is disappointing. But as early as it is, you've got to start preparing for next year and making sure everybody ends on a healthy note."

Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.