The Mariners’ two active All-Stars had very sedate evenings on Monday night.
Brandon League said his very pregnant wife, Sasha, didn’t feel well, so he hung out with his family — their two young daughters are also in Phoenix — in their hotel room.
And Michael Pineda went out to dinner with his agent and then he, too, hung out in his room, he said.
I didn’t get a chance to talk to Felix Hernandez before the clubhouse was closed to the media, but I did see he was wearing a Larry Bernandez t-shirt. Felix isn’t active to play tonight because he pitched on Sunday, but he will suit up and watch the game from the dugout.
Pineda was told by AL manager Ron Washington that he will work the fourth inning, he said. League doesn’t know when he’ll be used, and doesn’t want to know.
“Just call down,” he said.
Washington said on Monday that League will definitely pitch, though Jose Valverde will close for the American League.
“I’d be disappointed if I didn’t pitch,” League said. “I haven’t pitched in a week. It would just add to that time. I’m ready.”
Both Pineda and League watched the Home Run Derby Monday night while sitting with AL teammates in front of the first-base dugout.
“It was awesome,” said League, who had his daughters on the field with him. “It’s different to be on the field to see it first hand. Hopefully, it’s not a once-in-a-lifetime thing but for being the first time, it was pretty cool.”
Pineda said that he was visible in the television coverage, thrilling his family and friends back in the Dominican Republic.
“My dad texted me. He said, “What are you doing?’ They wanted to see me. He was excited (when Pineda got screen time). My family is proud of me a lot. I’m sad because my family is not here. This is a big game for me.”
Bcecause Washington didn’t name Pineda to the squad until Sunday, his family were unable to obtain the necessary visa to travel to Phoenix in time for the game.
He is from Yaguate, a town of about 40,000 located near San Cristobal — the only major-leaguer to come from Yaguate, he said.
“Everyone in the city is excited,” Pineda said. “Everyone watched (the home-run derby).”
And they’ll be watching tonight, no doubt, to see Pineda face the best of the NL. It doesn’t sound like Pineda will have trouble keeping his nerves in check.
“It’s a baseball game,” he said. “Throw the ball for strikes. That’s it.”
League, meanwhile, is hoping his wife holds out on going into labor before they return to Seattle after the game. She is scheduled to be induced on Wednesday.,
I said to League that their plan seems to be working, and he produced crossed fingers.
“Let me check right now,” he said, examining his cell phone for urgent messages. “Nope.”
I asked him what he’d do if Sasha went into labor in the fifth inning.
“Oh, I’d be like, ‘I need to get in now. I mean now. If you want to use me, you have to put me in now, because I have to go.’ ”