Marlins cultivating an innings plan for Jose Fernandez

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MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Marlins have taken preliminary plans to begin an innings plan for starter Jose Fernandez. The right-hander made his season debut on July 2 after working his way back from Tommy John surgery, then landed back on the disabled list in August due to a biceps injury.

The Marlins will work with Dr. Neal ElAttrache to come up with a specific number for Fernandez. Frisaro notes that the Marlins won’t be consulting directly with Fernandez’s agent Scott Boras, who also represents Mets starter Matt Harvey. Boras and Harvey drew criticism during the season due to an imposed innings limit.

Fernandez, 23, recently rejected a multi-year contract extension offered by the Marlins. In 47 starts over three seasons, he has a 2.40 ERA, a 1.014 WHIP, and a 336/85 K/BB ratio spanning 289 innings.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).