Jose Fernandez is dominating in the minors as he nears return from Tommy John surgery

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Marlins ace Jose Fernandez had another impressive minor-league rehab start Monday at Single-A, throwing seven innings of one-run ball as he nears a return from Tommy John elbow surgery.

Fernandez struck out 10 batters in a rehab outing last week. This time around he struck out nine, walked one, and allowed four hits while recording 21 outs on just 90 pitches. And afterward the 22-year-old right-hander told Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press that he had “no pain” and “this start did a lot of good things for my mind.”

He’s scheduled to make one final rehab start Saturday at Double-A before coming off the disabled list and rejoining the Marlins’ rotation July 2 against the Giants. It’ll be Fernandez’s first MLB action since May 9, 2014, after which he was shut down with a 2.25 ERA and 257 strikeouts through 224 career innings.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”