José organized a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for his native Puerto Rico following the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria last September…counting his own donation, he raised nearly $10,000 and donated supplies such as water, diapers and food.... José was on the island when Maria made landfall…the Rays front office supported his decision to be there for his family when he was faced with the choice of evacuating…José and his family mistook the eye of the storm for its conclusion and were trapped at his aunt's house due to flooding…he was able to depart the island 10 days later... While with the Dodgers, word reached legendary broadcaster Vin Scully that José had been racing the clock to reach the majors before his retirement…Vin then arranged a meeting and signed a picture of the two of them as a gift.... José took English classes throughout grade school in Puerto Rico, but was unable to carry a conversation when he came to the U.S. to attend Southern University…his very first college course was a history class with a 92-year-old professor with a southern accent so thick that most of his peers dropped the class…José, however, moved to the front row, determined that if he could understand that professor's English, he could understand anyone.
Spent the entire season in the minors aside from a one-day stint on May 29 at TEX…made his Rays debut that night and was credited the win by the official scorer…allowed 3 R/ER in 2.2 IP and his 69 pitches were the most by a Rays reliever since Chris Archer on Sep 13, 2012 at BAL (79).... Became the 11th pitcher in franchise history to win his Rays debut as a reliever and first since Andrew Bellatti on May 9, 2015 vs. TEX.... Limited to 10 apps (8 starts) in the minors due to three stints on the disabled list…started the season on the disabled list with discomfort in the flexor mass muscle…also missed time with a strained lat and forearm tendinitis.... Was initially slowed in spring training by back tightness.... Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 25 prospect in the Rays system following the season.... WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC: Added to Puerto Rico's roster for the second round, replacing Jenrry Mejia…started against Venezuela and did not allow a run in 2.2 IP, with 5 SO…his strikeout victims included HOU José Altuve (twice), TEX Robinson Chirinos, KC Alcides Escobar and ATL Ender Inciarte.
Made 4 starts for the Dodgers in September, his first major league action…spent the remainder of the season with Triple-A Oklahoma City. Selected to the major league roster on Sep 4 and made his major league debut that night vs. SD, a 7-4 Dodgers win…his line: W, 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R/3 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO, 1 HR, 1 HBP, 86 pitches…was the youngest Dodger to win his major league debut as a starter since Nathan Eovaldi on Aug 6, 2011 at ARI…at 24, was the fifth pitcher since records are available (1913) to win his debut as a starter with 0 BB and 9 SO or more, first since WAS Stephen Strasburg on June 8, 2010 vs. PIT. Became the first Dodger to win the first 2 apps of his career as a starter since Kazuhisa Ishii in 2002…yielded 2 ER over 5 IP on Sep 16 at NYY, an 8-2 Dodgers win…was the first NL pitcher to win at Yankee Stadium within his first 2 career apps since FLA Aníbal Sánchez in 2006. Lasted just 3.2 IP and 2.1 IP in his next 2 starts, both no-decisions. Had a pair of DL stints with Oklahoma City due to ankle and shoulder injuries…went 7-1 with a 2.61 ERA, 111 SO, .194 opp avg. and 5.55 SO/BB ratio in 16 starts…named a Triple-A All-Star by Baseball America. Recorded double-digit strikeouts in 5 of his 16 minor league starts, including 3 straight immediately prior to his selection. Was a non-roster invite to Dodgers spring training…made 3 relief apps before being reassigned to minor league camp. Ranked by Baseball America as the No. 29 overall prospect in the minors entering the 2017 season…was the No. 3 prospect in the Dodgers organization and the No. 3 prospect in the Pacific Coast League following the 2016 season.