There is no doubt that the biggest story of the year for the Miami Marlins is Jose Fernandez. It seems as if every time he steps on the mound, it is a guaranteed win for the Fish. His energy and passion for the game spreads around the team when he starts, and it is very evident. Unfortunately, at the rate he is going, Fernandez’ season will end in a little more than two weeks, and the Marlins will be missing the energy from the 21 year old phenom. The Marlins placed a 170 inning limit on Fernandez this season to protect his development, and he is already at 145, meaning he has only 25 innings left, which is roughly 4 starts, putting his season to an end most likely on September 10th. Well, the Fish are trying to extend the date of this shutdown as late as possible with adhering to the 170 inning limit. Their reasoning for wanting to do this is most likely so he can still be seen in the eyes of the voters for NL Rookie of the Year closer to the end of the season, as Fernandez is the favorite for the award. Here are some ways the Marlins may extend Jose Fernandez’ season.
Add a Sixth Man to the Rotation
This is the option that makes the most sense. Then again, it’s the one the Marlins are trying to avoid. Why they don’t want to add a sixth man is beyond me, but they have options if they do. The Marlins most viable option at a sixth man is Brad Hand from Triple-A New Orleans. He has Major League experience, and is a decent young pitcher. Another option is Brian Flynn from Double-A Jacksonville. He has had a very good season, and would it would be a great chance to see if his game translates to the Majors. Another option would be choosing someone from the bullpen who is used to long relief. The best candidate in this case is Ryan Webb. Webb is used to pitching as many as four innings in relief, and he could be very viable as a sixth man. If a sixth man is added to the rotation after Fernandez’ upcoming start vs. the Rockies, his season would end September 13th.
Skip Every Other Fernandez Start
This could be an effective way of prolonging Fernandez’ season. The main question though is who would fill in the role? Kevin Slowey is out for the season with injury, and he was a go to rotation/bullpen guy. Ryan Webb is another option, as I mentioned him being a possible sixth man in the rotation. The other option is just not filling in the void at all. That would leave eight days between every Jose Fernandez start. Which, if instated after his next projected start against the Rockies, would last another 24 games, which puts his final start at September 22nd at the Nationals. If the Marlins fill in the void for the skipped Fernandez start, he would be ending his season at home against the Phillies on September 25th, just four days before the end of the season.
Limit Fernandez to 5 Innings a Start
This wont do much. Fernandez has only approximately 25 innings left. No one would like it either. All this does is give Fernandez one extra start, which really isn’t much considering that he would still end in early September. Though this is the option that makes the least sense, it is still an option.
Fact of the matter is that Jose Fernandez only has 25 innings left in his season. The Marlins put the limit on themselves to begin the series and still seem to be sticking with it. There is no other way to get around it. But if the Marlins can find a way to extend his season, it would be very beneficial toward his Rookie of the Year chances.
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