Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez has been phenomenal since breaking into the big leagues last season. The hard-throwing righty has dominated opposing hitters and had become one of baseball’s best pitchers. But now Fernandez has landed on the disabled list with a sprained right elbow and the prognosis doesn’t look good.
Fernandez has undergone two MRIs on the injured elbow and a source tells us that Tommy John surgery is “very likely” going to be the end result for the 21-year-old. Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal tweeted that a source told him “This isn’t promising” as well.
Fernandez was the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year after he posted a 12-6 record, with a 2.19 ERA, a 0.98 WHIP and 187 strikeouts, with just 111 hits allowed in 172.2 innings. He made 28 starts as a rookie and had continued that excellent form in eight starts this season. So far in 2014 he has posted a 4-2 record with a 2.44 ERA, a 0.95 WHIP, and 70 strikeouts against 36 hits and 13 walks in 51.2 innings.
In his last start against the San Diego Padres on Friday, Fernandez allowed six runs (five earned), six hits and two home runs in four-plus innings. The final pitch he threw was blasted for a grand slam by Jedd Gyorko. Now that may be the last pitch he throws for a long time.
The young Cuban was the 14th overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft and was signed to a $2 million signing bonus. He had more than lived up to the hype since breaking into the big leagues last year.
Fernandez has joined the growing list of young hurlers to have been hit with the elbow injury bug that has been laying waste to Major League Baseball over the past 12 months. While our source told us there is a chance he will somehow avoid needing surgery, he claimed that very few people within the Marlins organization are holding out any hope.
This is a devastating blow to a young Marlins team that is off to a better start than people thought was possible this season. Miami currently holds a 20-18 record and is just two games behind the Atlanta Braves for first place in the NL East.