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Rivera's family fine after Maria hits Puerto Rico

Cubs catcher says P.R. is 'destroyed' and 'it's not safe' to be out of your house
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

MILWAUKEE -- Communication with family and friends in Puerto Rico has been difficult since Hurricane Maria ripped through the island, but Cubs catcher Rene Rivera was able to talk briefly to his mother on Thursday to get an update.

"They're fine, they're in the house," Rivera said. "[I could talk] only for a little bit because phone service was coming and going. They're trying to fix it. They're trying to fix the towers.

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MILWAUKEE -- Communication with family and friends in Puerto Rico has been difficult since Hurricane Maria ripped through the island, but Cubs catcher Rene Rivera was able to talk briefly to his mother on Thursday to get an update.

"They're fine, they're in the house," Rivera said. "[I could talk] only for a little bit because phone service was coming and going. They're trying to fix it. They're trying to fix the towers.

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"I just talked to her for a little bit and they're fine."

However, Puerto Rico is not.

"It's destroyed. It's destroyed," Rivera repeated. "It was something that she could not explain how bad it is. At least they're alive. They're good. They're in the process to try to rebuild, try to start again, and that's the next step."

Cubs rookie catcher Victor Caratini had yet to talk to his family.

"They said the streets aren't safe, there's some bridges down," Rivera said of the report he received. "Some rivers are high, so you have to be careful. The government says they want you to stay at your house until at least Saturday. It's not safe to be out there. Everybody's fine. I didn't hear that any people are in bad shape. Everybody's fine."

Worth noting
• Cubs manager Joe Maddon was still puzzled about what happened on Wednesday in Jon Lester's outing. The left-hander had a difficult time with his command against the Rays and gave up seven runs on eight hits over 4 1/3 innings.

"I'm not overly concerned because the guy's been good for a long time," Maddon said Thursday. "As long as he says he's healthy, which he has, I'm fine. If he's hurting, that's a different story entirely. For right now, I believe he's well."

This was Lester's fourth start since he was on the disabled list with fatigue in his left shoulder. After the game, Lester said he was fine physically.

Tweet from @JLester34: No excuses, I feel fine physically just struggling with command and consistency. Gotta keep grinding and continue to make adjustments #NVRQT

"I believe in Jon Lester," Maddon said. "It's unusual to see him struggle like that, primarily with his command, too. Even if the number is down velocity-wise, he knows where the pitches are going. I've got to believe that will get rectified soon."

• Reliever Hector Rondon, who has been battling inflammation in his right elbow, may be available on Friday. The right-hander has not pitched since Sept. 8.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Rene Rivera