Wife of Padres infielder Yangervis Solarte dies after battle with cancer

·Yahoo Sports Contributor
Padres infielder Yangervis Solarte had returned home to be with his family on Friday. (AP)
Padres infielder Yangervis Solarte had returned home to be with his family on Friday. (AP)

If it seemed like the San Diego Padres’ weren’t ready to play baseball on Saturday, that’s because their hearts and minds were thousands of miles away with a grieving teammate.

Following the team’s 8-0 loss to the Rockies, manager Andy Green fought back tears while announcing that Yuliette Solarte, the wife of infielder Yangervis Solarte, had died at age 31 due to complications from her fight against cancer.

Yangervis Solarte arrived with the team in Colorado on Friday and was scheduled to be in the lineup. However, he was summoned home to be with his wife and their three daughters — Yanliett, Yuliett and Yulianna — in Florida, when her condition worsened.

“What his family is going through, our thoughts and prayers are with him,” Green said of Solarte’s absence on Friday. “He’s going through stuff that’s more important than baseball at this point.”

On Saturday night, Solarte took to social media to share remembrances of his wife.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribute, Solarte has already informed the team he would like to bring his daughters to San Diego and rejoin the team before the end of this season. Certainly, the team will not push his return, but they also won’t question his decision if he feels it’s the right thing to do.

One thing is for sure: The 31-year-old veteran has been a bright spot in a lost season for the Padres. In 101 games, he’s hitting .284 with a career-high 15 home runs.

“He’s had a heck of a year,” Green said of Solarte. “With what he’s been through at home, his ability to still perform on a baseball field has honestly been astounding to me.”

Considering the thoughts that no doubt occupied his mind, it’s astounding to us too that he was able to produce at that level so consistently.

Baseball doesn’t matter now though. It’s about family and it’s about healing. Our thoughts are with Solarte and his family as they endure this difficult process.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!