Odrisamer Despaigne isn’t flying with the Marlins to Atlanta on Wednesday night.
The trip will take the team and their families out of the path of Hurricane Irma as it continues to bear down on south Florida.
Despaigne can’t leave yet though.
His wife is due to give birth to their first child by Thursday morning.
"She can’t travel right now," Despaigne said Wednesday with a smile.
Despaigne, the Marlins’ 30-year-old Cuban right-hander, tossed a gem on Tuesday against the Nationals and isn’t due to pitch again until Sunday in Atlanta.
The Marlins are allowing their players, coaches and staff to bring family members and even pets on the trip with the storm expected to impact South Florida by this weekend.
Despaigne plans to be with his wife as long as he can.
"She should be giving birth either tonight or tomorrow morning," Despaigne said. "So I’m going to stay with her and then join the team in a couple of days up there."
Like millions of Floridians scrambling to prepare for the hurricane this week, Despaigne dealt with plenty of storms growing up in Cuba.
Despiagne grew up in an older part of Havana where many houses were built a century ago going back to the country’s days as a Spanish colony. Despaigne said the house where he grew up did not survive one of the recent hurricanes that swept through the island in the last couple of years.
Despaigne said his family in Cuba is foremost on his mind.
"I have family back home so of course you worry because it’s taking a path that could go right through Cuba from end to end," Despaigne said. "I have uncles and grandparents there so of course you hope for the best and that every one will be safe."
On the diamond, Despaigne is trying to earn a stable spot in the Marlins’ rotation.
Despaigne, who has fluctuated from starting to relieving during his four-year career, allowed one earned run on five hits and two walks over seven innings on Tuesday.
Despaigne has allowed three runs or less in his last three starts (17 innings) with a 2.65 ERA. He is 0-3 with a 3.57 ERA this season overall.
Despaigne, who pitched for the club Industriales in Cuba and for the Cuban national team, defected in 2013 while the selection was in Europe playing in the World Port Tournament.
Despaigne lived for a time in Spain and later Mexico before signing a major league deal in 2014 with the Padres. After making 16 starts his rookie season, Despaigne fluctuated between the rotation and the bullpen in San Diego. He was traded to the Orioles the following season and eventually claimed off waivers by the Marlins last September.
"I'm just trying to help the team out, trying to help us win," Despaigne said. "We're going against one of the better teams out there and we're trying to right the ship. I want to be a part of it and help us get back on the winning side."
FAMILY ON THEIR MINDS
Miguel Rojas isn’t going to be able to take his family on the road trip either.
Rojas’ wife and son are staying behind while they host several relatives - six of which are children - at their home in Pembroke Pines.
"It was one of those visits that we planned for a while and unfortunately this situation came up now," Rojas said. "It’s a tough moment for our family, but we’ve taken every precaution to make sure they will be safe and I pray the impact won’t be that bad."
Marcell Ozuna is taking his wife and their three children on the trip.
But Ozuna said his family in the Dominican Republic, particularly his father who lives in Boca Chica (a town in the province of Santo Domingo) will be on his mind.
"I’ll be thinking about them and I hope and pray that nothing bad happens over there and that they stay safe over there," Ozuna said.
Thursday: Marlins RHP Dan Straily (9-8, 3.91 ERA) vs. Atlanta Braves LHP Sean Newcomb (2-8, 4.31), 7:35 p.m., SunTrust Park.
Friday: Marlins RHP Jose Urena (12-6, 3.71) vs. Braves RHP Mike Foltynewicz (10-11, 4.75), 7:35 p.m., SunTrust Park.