Feb 18, 2014; Jupiter, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez (16) and catcher Jeff Mathis (6) shake hands following todays spring training action at Roger Dean Stadium Mandatory Credit: Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
With all apologies to the baseball statisticians and their regression models, Jose Fernandez doesn’t anticipate a sophomore slump. As a matter of fact, he is predicting a season even better than the magical one that he had last year. MLB.com is reporting that Fernandez’s goal is an ERA of 1.95 and he believes he can achieve it.
"Jose Fernandez calmly said, “My goal this year is to have a 1.95 ERA.” “I think I can,” Fernandez said with an earnestness that was delightful and disarming. His response to his listener’s somewhat incredulous reaction was an incredulous reaction of his own, as if to say “What, you don’t think I can?”"
To me, Jose has the perfect amount self-confidence and bravado. He is not arrogant, but he believes in himself. More than that, he obviously loves playing the game. That attitude alone makes him my favorite player in the game. I hope that he never loses that joy, and that it spreads to the rest of the team. If the Marlins can win some games and get on a roll, he is the type of player that can keep them there with his spark.
I am a little concerned by how he will respond to eventual adversity in the big leagues, but let’s be honest, he has faced an extraordinary amount of adversity in his journey just to make it to the United States. Nevertheless, adversity will come, and when it does, he will need to meet it the way he seems to meet the other challenges, with confidence.
That confidence has gotten him to this point, but before you accuse him of being overly confident, make sure you notice what he said at the end of the article.
"“I know, I know,” Fernandez said. “You can’t have too many bad innings. But I expect to pitch a lot of good innings. I’m not saying I’m going to get 1.95. But that is my goal. It’s what I want to do.”"
I for one, believe that he may just be able to do it. After all, I wouldn’t bet against him…