Tigers' Jimenez relieved after family gets out of Puerto Rico

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News
Tigers pitcher Joe Jimenez is a native of Puerto Rico.

Kansas City, Mo. — Tigers reliever Joe Jimenez has tried valiantly to keep his focus on the task at hand these last 10 days, but no jury would convict if his thoughts were elsewhere.

“You have to think about it; I’m human,” he said.

Jimenez is from Bayamon, Puerto Rico and his island has been ravaged by Hurricane Irma. Puerto Rico is still largely without power.

“There is nothing I can do about it,” he said. “I’m here now. I just have to try to do my job.”

A big worry was lifted off his shoulders Monday when he got the news that his family had managed, finally, to get off the island.

“Yesterday,” he said. “They flew to Texas (Dallas) to see my brother. They are going to be out of Puerto Rico for a while. I mean, no power, no water, no nothing.”

Water, food scarce as Puerto Rico emerges from storm

Jimenez’s brother, A.J., was a September call-up of the Rangers.

“It’s really bad times there now,” Jimenez said. “No food, no water. I can’t live in those conditions and I am not going to let my family live in those conditions, either.”

Hurricane Irma has hastened what had already been an exodus of people leaving the island. Prior to the hurricane, the island was being devastated by a burgeoning debt crisis. More than 500,000 people have left the island in the last 10 years.

Jimenez is also seriously considering moving off the island.

“In the offseason I might go back just to help and see my family,” he said. “I am not sure yet if I am going to move from Puerto Rico, but it is on my mind. They say there is not going to be power for a few months yet.

“That’s why I am thinking about moving.”