Aug 30, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez (16) takes a break on the mound while pitching against the Atlanta Braves during the fifth inning at Turner Field. The Braves defeated the Marlins 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
Jose Fernandez will make two more starts in 2013, both of which will come at home. Manager Mike Redmond said on Saturday afternoon that Fernandez is looking at a firm innings cap of 170 innings.
Fernandez will actually throw just a tad over 170 innings, as he has thrown 154 2/3 innings to date and the team would like him to go six innings in each start.
"“That was the range as an organization that we felt comfortable leaving him around, 150-170, depending on how many starts he did,” Redmond said. “It was kind of the unknown at the beginning of the season, how he would do, and how he would perform. We were looking at ways to protect him, based on how many innings he had gone before. That’s the number we came up with.”"
The team has decided to skip Fernandez’s start in the finale against the Chicago Cubs and allow him to make his next start on Friday at home against the Washington Nationals. If he pitches six innings in that game, he will pitch for the final time on September 11th at home against the Atlanta Braves.
Despite another strong start, Fernandez came out a loser against the Atlanta Braves on Friday night, as the first inning two-run homer he allowed to Freddie Freeman turned out to be the difference in the game.
Delaying Fernandez’s season until the middle of September may allow the rookie phenom a chance to remain alive in the Rookie of the Year discussion, as many experts feel he is the favorite to win at the moment.
For the season, Jose owns a 2.33 ERA and a 2.69 FIP in 158 2/3 innings of work. He has struck out just under 10 batters a game, with 173 strikeouts in his 158+ innings. The 173 strikeouts is a brand new Marlins rookie record, which he established last night in the first inning against the Braves.
The team hasn’t announced who will fill Fernandez’s next scheduled start Wednesday against the Cubs, but more than likely it will be either Brad Hand or Brian Flynn. Both of these pitchers are expected to be promoted to the majors once rosters are allowed to expand tomorrow.