Sunday’s much-anticipated duel between Marlins ace Jose Fernandez and White Sox ace Chris Sale has been nixed. The Marlins, in an effort to limit Fernandez’s innings this season, will skip Fernandez’s turn in the rotation. Tom Koehler will start on Sunday and oppose Sale instead.
Fernandez, 24, underwent Tommy John surgery and didn’t return until July last year. The Marlins are hoping to limit Fernandez to 180-90 innings this season. He’s already at 137 2/3 with a 12-6 record, a 2.81 ERA and a 198/41 K/BB ratio.
Fernandez’s current K/9 rate of 12.94 would be the third-best in baseball history — among starters who qualified for the ERA title — behind Randy Johnson in 2001 (13.41) and Pedro Martinez in 1999 (13.20). Both Johnson and Martinez won the Cy Young Award in their respective seasons.