The Marlins are an awful team, but they’ll be worth watching this year when Jose Fernandez pitches.
Fernandez, 20, tossed six innings of scoreless ball Saturday in Miami’s 2-1 victory over the visiting Phillies, yielding only two hits and two walks while striking out five. He boasts a high-90s fastball and offset it well on Saturday with sharp sliders, curves and changeups. 53 of his 85 pitches were strikes.
Fernandez now has a 0.82 ERA, 0.73 WHIP and 13/3 K/BB ratio through the first 11 innings of his MLB career. The native of Cuba hadn’t pitched above High-A ball before the start of the 2013 season. But he looks like he belongs in the bigs for good.
Fernandez will face the Reds next at Great American Ball Park. It’ll be a nice test for the youngster.
Your Saturday box scores:
Rays 1, Red Sox 2 (10 innings)
Giants 3, Cubs 2
Braves 3, Nationals 1
White Sox 4, Indians 9
Orioles 5, Yankees 3
Tigers 7, Athletics 3
Mets 4, Twins 2
Brewers 0, Cardinals 8
Reds 1, Pirates 3
Blue Jays 3, Royals 2
Phillies 1, Marlins 2
Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 5
Rockies 9, Padres 5
Astros 4, Angels 5
Rangers 3, Mariners 1
Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.
They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.
The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.
He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.
This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.
Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.