Visa issues kept the players in Philadelphia until Thursday afternoon. They were scheduled to arrive to the Rogers Centre midgame
TORONTO — The Mariners were without their starting left fielder and Sunday starting pitcher when they took the field for batting practice on Thursday afternoon.
Guillermo Heredia and Ariel Miranda remained in Philadelphia after the Mariners’ 11-6 win on Wednesday while the rest of the team traveled to Toronto. The two Cuban players stayed in the U.S. waiting to clear up some visa issues before leaving Philadelphia.
“We heard about it after the game yesterday that there was a bit of a visa issue,” manager Scott Servais said. “Our people got on it right away. Hopefully it won’t affect us that much.
The visa issues were taken care of on Thursday morning and both players flew to Toronto. They were expected to arrive mid-game.
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“They are on plane right now and en route,” Servais said pregame. “Heredia will be available tonight.”
The Mariners wouldn’t give an details on if the visas issues stemmed from going into Canada or getting back into the United States. But sources said the issue didn’t fall on the shoulders of the players.
Heredia is hitting .313 with an .802 on-base plus slugging percentage, three doubles, two homers and six RBI in 22 games. He’s taken over the every day left field duties with Mitch Haniger on the disabled list and Leonys Martin demoted to Class AAA. Taylor Motter got the start in left field.
Miranda made the opening day starting rotation after Drew Smyly went on the disabled list with a flexor strain. In seven starts, he’s 3-2 with a 5.20 ERA. In 36 1/3 innings pitched, he’s struck out 30 and walked 11.