Giants minor league reliever Julian Fernandez is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery on Thursday, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. The club selected Fernandez from the Rockies with their second pick in the Rule 5 Draft this past December and were hoping to advance him through their farm system over the 2018 season. Instead, the 22-year-old landed on the 60-day disabled list after getting diagnosed with a right UCL strain last week.
The young right-hander has already spent five seasons in the minors after signing with the Rockies out of the Dominican Republic in 2012. He last appeared with the Rockies’ Single-A affiliate in 2017 and finished the year with a 3.26 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 through 58 innings. This appears to be the first major surgery of his professional career to date.
Given that Fernandez will need to remain on the major league disabled list for the foreseeable future, he’ll also accumulate a year of service time and receive a league-minimum $545,000 salary during his lengthy recovery process. Per Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic, that extra $500,000+ will count against the Giants’ $197 million luxury tax threshold. Were it not for the unique circumstances of the right-hander’s injury, it seems unlikely that the team would have parted with the money at all, even for a triple-digit-tossing Rule 5 pick with an impressive (if inconsistent) track record in the minors.
The Padres fired manager Andy Green on Saturday, per an official team release. Bench coach Rod Barajas will step into the position for the remaining eight games of the 2019 season.
Executive Vice President and GM A.J. Preller gave a statement in the wake of Green’s dismissal:
I want to thank Andy for his tireless work and dedication to the Padres over the last four seasons. This was an incredibly difficult decision, but one we felt was necessary at this time to take our organization to the next level and expedite the process of bringing a championship to San Diego. Our search for a new manager will begin immediately.
In additional comments made to reporters, Preller added that the decision had not been made based on the Padres’ current win-loss record (a fourth-place 69-85 in the NL West), but rather on the lack of response coming from the team.
“Looking at the performance, looking at it from an improvement standing, we haven’t seen the team respond in the last few months,” Preller said. “When you get to the point where you’re questioning where things are headed … we have to make that call.”
Since his hiring in October 2015, Green has faced considerable challenges on the Padres’ long and winding path to postseason contention. He shepherded San Diego through four consecutive losing seasons, drawing a career 274-366 record as the club extended their streak to 13 seasons without a playoff appearance. And, despite some definite strides in the right direction — including an eight-year, $144 million pact with Eric Hosmer, a 10-year, $300 million pact with superstar Manny Machado, and the development of top prospect Fernando Tatís Jr. — lingering injuries and inexplicable slumps from key players stalled the rebuild longer than the Padres would have liked.
For now, they’ll prepare to roll the dice with a new skipper in 2020, though any potential candidates have yet to be identified for the role. It won’t come cheap, either, as Green inked a four-year extension back in 2017 — one that should have seen him through the team’s 2021 campaign.