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The Venezuelan pitcher was fighting for a place in the Braves’ rotation | Joe Robbins / .

Venezuelan pitcher Félix Hernández decided not to play the Atlanta Braves in the 2020 MLB campaign because he is afraid of contracting COVID-19.

The Valencia-born pitcher’s agent, Wilfredo Polidor, was commissioned to reveal the news about the “King’s” absence this year in the majors.

Felix hernandez with fear of COVID-19, will not play in the 2020 season, Felix hernandez with fear of Covid -19 does not feel well to play in the 2020 season

– Wilfredo Polidor (@ wpolidor19) July 5, 2020

Hernández’s main motivation is to keep himself and his family safe from a possible spread of coronavirus.

The right-hander was to be one of the Braves’ starters in this year’s regular season. After spending 15 seasons with the Seattle Mariners, he took a new turn for the National League.

The lifetime effectiveness of the Latin American in the majors is 3.42 in 2,729.2 episodes.

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Braves Ace Mike Soroka Leaves Game With Injured Right Leg

By PAUL NEWBERRY, AP Sports Writer

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta Braves ace Mike Soroka had to be helped off the field in the third inning against the New York Mets after tumbling to the infield grass with an injured right leg Monday night.

Soroka was hurt after delivering a pitch to J.D. Davis, who grounded the ball toward first baseman Freddie Freeman. Soroka broke toward first to cover the bag, but he went down on his first step off the mound. Soroka appeared to injure his ankle or foot.

Soroka yelled in obvious pain and tried to walk gingerly for a couple of steps before dropping to his knees. The right-hander was helped toward the clubhouse with the assistance of a trainer and manager Brian Sniker.

If the injury is serious, it would be a major blow to the two-time NL East champion Braves, who had won five straight despite struggling to put together an effective rotation.

Soroka, who turns 23 on Tuesday, made his first opening day start after going 13-4 with a dazzling 2.68 ERA in 2019 to finish second in the NL rookie of the year balloting and sixth for the Cy Young Award.

Soroka was making his third start of the season. He came in having allowed just two earned runs over 11 1/3 innings but struggled against the Mets, trailing 3-0 when he left the game with two runners aboard.

He allowed three hits, walked four and wound up being charged with four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, the second-shortest stint of his career.

Soroka was replaced by Chris Rusin.

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