God, wasn’t that family thing/working/cleaning/ thing a pain in the butt this weekend? Kept you from paying attention to baseball? Yeah, me too. Thankfully, then, here is everything you missed that mattered:
Happy Jackie Robinson Day. Happy Morning Baseball Because of Patriot’s Day in Boston. Oh, and Happy Tax Day too. All kinds of things to celebrate, eh?
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
Marlins starter Jose Fernandez can throw a baseball better than all but a few human beings on planet earth. He had just singled and driven in the Marlins’ first run of the game to break a scoreless tie — his first career hit and RBI as well — but it was a jacket that really gave him difficulty.
Click here for an animated .gif.
Fernandez has, thus far, outdueled Phillies ace Cole Hamels through six innings tonight, holding the Phillies scoreless and lowering his season ERA to 0.82.
A week after the Marlins shocked everyone by announcing his callup, 20-year-old Jose Fernandez allowed one run in five innings and struck out eight Mets in his major league debut Sunday.
Fernandez, regarded as one of the game’s top five pitching prospects, was expected to spend the bulk of the season in the minors. In fact, he made just one two-inning appearance for the Marlins this spring before being sent down. The team, though, had a change of heart when both Henderson Alvarez and Nathan Eovaldi came down with sore shoulder at the end of the spring.
Fernandez allowed three hits and walked one before leaving with a 3-1 lead today. He threw 80 pitches, 53 of them for strikes, and topped out at 97 mph on the gun. He became the 22nd pitcher since 2000 to strike out at least eight batters in his major league debut. Matt Harvey (11) and Collin McHugh (nine) of the Mets were the only two to do it last year.
The Marlins are planning on limiting Fernandez to 150-170 innings this season, so five- and six-inning starts will be the norm for him.
Besides Giancarlo Stanton and maybe right-hander Jose Fernandez, the Marlins’ shining light this year was going to be their remarkable Double-A outfield; Christian Yelich is one of baseball’s very best prospects and both Jake Marisnick, who was acquired from the Blue Jays in the Jose Reyes trade, and Marcell Ozuna rate comfortably within the top 100.
However, the Sun Sentinel’s Juan C. Rodriguez reports that each member of that trio is set to start the season on the DL. Yelich has plantar faciitis, while both Marisnick and Ozuna are sidelined with fractured hands.
Yelich is expected back the soonest. The 21-year-old caught the eyes of everyone while hitting .364/.451/.818 with five homers, 14 RBI and a 7/6 K/BB ratio in 44 at-bats this spring. Assuming a quick recovery, he has a very good chance of taking over as the Marlins’ center fielder in May or June.
Marisnick and Ozuna are further away both in their recoveries and from reaching the the majors, though Ozuna might get a look in the second half. The Marlins’ plan was for Yelich and Marisnick to split time between center and left for Jacksonville, with Ozuna starting in right.