MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Marlins are planning to shut down rookie phenom Jose Fernandez after he makes his next two starts spanning 12 innings or fewer. The 20-year-old Fernandez was the tough-luck loser last night against the Braves, earning a loss despite allowing two runs over six innings of work while striking out eight.
Manager Mike Redmond told the press that Fernandez will not pitch on the road. As a result, his scheduled start against the Cubs on Wednesday has been pushed back to Friday against the Nationals.
More from Redmond on the innings limit:
“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.”
Overall, Fernandez is 10-6 with a 2.33 ERA in 158.2 innings this season. He is just behind Matt Harvey for the league lead in strikeout rate, trailing the Mets right-hander 27.7 percent to 25.5 percent. Fernandez’s biggest competition for the National League Rookie of the Year award is Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig.
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has not had a good postseason. Entering Monday night’s NLCS Game 3, he was batting .111/.238/.278 in 21 trips to the plate across the NLDS and the first two games of the NLCS.
Defense has also been an issue for Grandal. In Game 1 of the NLCS, Grandal was on the hook for two passed balls. In the sixth inning of Game 3 Monday night, he couldn’t corral a curve in the dirt, which allowed Travis Shaw to score the Brewers’ second run of the night. Starter Walker Buehler was charged with a wild pitch. In the eighth, with Ryan Braun on first base and Shaw at the plate, Grandal again couldn’t corral a pitch in the dirt, allowing Braun to move to second base. Fortunately for the Dodgers, Alex Wood was able to escape the inning with no damage.
Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes, not Grandal, will start behind the plate for Game 4 on Tuesday night, Andy McCullough of the Los Angeles Times reports. That comes as no surprise at all. When Grandal struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, Dodger fans regaled him with boos.
Barnes will be an upgrade defensively, but he’s lacking with the bat. He had an 0-for-3 performance in Game 2, though with an RBI, bringing his career slash line in the playoffs to .200/.281/.300 across 57 plate appearances. During the regular season, his career 100 adjusted OPS is a fair bit behind Grandal’s 115. Roberts is trading offense for defense in Game 4. Rich Hill will get the start opposite the Brewers’ Gio González.