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Jose Fernandez expected to require season-ending elbow surgery

May 12, 2014, 8:37 PM EDT

Jose Fernandez AP AP

UPDATE: The news just keeps getting worse. According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Marlins anticipate that Fernandez will need season-ending surgery on his right elbow. Presumably we’re talking about Tommy John surgery here.

If there’s any silver lining, it’s that the injury involves Fernandez’s elbow, not his shoulder. And while there have been some recent examples to the contrary, Tommy John surgery still has a very high success rate. The injury is a tough blow to the Marlins, but Fernandez doesn’t even turn 22 until July. Here’s hoping he’ll be dominating major league hitters again at some point in 2015.

6:39 p.m. ET: Gulp. According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, Fernandez is going on the disabled list with a right elbow sprain. He complained of discomfort after his start on Friday. This situation doesn’t sound particularly promising, as a “sprain” indicates the possibility of ligament damage and the worst-case scenario of Tommy John surgery, but results of the MRI are still pending. Stay tuned.

6:00 p.m. ET: Ominous news this evening for Marlins fans — and really, all baseball fans — as FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that right-hander Jose Fernandez is expected to be placed on the disabled list. No word yet on the exact nature of the injury, but Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that he was sent for an MRI in Los Angeles.

Fernandez had a rare clunker in his most recent outing on Friday against the Padres, allowing six runs (five earned) in five innings, but he was feeling sick before the game. While his fastball velocity was down some, he said that his arm was perfectly fine.

Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel passes along word that Marlins manager Mike Redmond is expected to address the situation at 6:30 p.m. ET, so we should have more information soon. Hopefully it’s not a big deal. Fernandez is truly a joy to watch regardless of your rooting interest.

Fernandez, 21, has compiled a 2.25 ERA and 257/71 K/BB ratio over his first 224 1/3 innings in the majors.

  1. chill1184 - May 12, 2014 at 6:03 PM

    Uh oh.

    • thekcubrats - May 12, 2014 at 7:14 PM

      When your 22-yr old Cy candy is throwing up in the dugout pregame… You let him “pitch through it.” Brilliant.

      • Old Gator - May 12, 2014 at 7:56 PM

        Yep. He was up in the high 90s in the first inning and his velocity was gone by the third. He definitely hurt himself pitching on Friday. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

      • thekcubrats - May 12, 2014 at 8:14 PM

        and yet he pitched into the fifth… you know, to qual for the W if possible… cretinous

      • yahmule - May 12, 2014 at 8:19 PM

        They never had a chance. Tyson Ross is lethal in PetCo.

  2. chacochicken - May 12, 2014 at 6:10 PM

  3. sportsfan18 - May 12, 2014 at 6:10 PM

    At the rate guys keep needing Tommy John surgery, in like 5 yrs or so they’re just gonna start making the pitchers they call up go get a Tommy John surgery before they call them up to the bigs…

    (sarcasm folks, for all of those that have no clue what sarcasm is…).

    Hope this kid is OK as he is great to watch…

    Kids like the O’s 3rd baseman, Trout, this pitcher and some others are the future of the game…

    hope the kid and the team get good news…

    • carpi2 - May 12, 2014 at 9:38 PM

      There was a special on MLB Network, last night, about the epidemic of UCL injuries in today’s pitchers. Bob Costas made a statement about how organizations are, now, purposely drafting kids, who they know needs a Tommy John surgery. Teams now have the mentality of “it’s better to get out of the way now.”

      • mikhelb - May 13, 2014 at 5:43 AM

        Very interesting to hear panelist talk about the possible causes of more pitchers needing Tommy John surgeries in the past few years, and how pitchers who had a certain regimen of training were able to keep their bodies relatively healthy to modern pitchers.

        Kaat and Smoltz were talking about how both of them exercised between starts with throwing regimes, Kaat three times before starts (in a time where the norm were 4 men rotations) and Smoltz twice between starts. Kaat’s teammates who seemingly adhered to that regimen were durable, similar to Mazone’s pitchers (Mazone was a disciple of Kaat’s coach with the Cardinals).

        One of the clues could be on what they proposed: throwing in flat ground, and instead of throwing with speed, they basically tossed the balls to train their location, command, and strenght (cardio is very important, a pitcher who runs out of air has to force himself), and by having extensive (instead of intensive) throwing sessions they also found their optimal stance, pivot and delivery, basically what today some are doing with biomechanics.

  4. barrybondsisthealltimehomerunking - May 12, 2014 at 6:22 PM

    Miami Herald reporting MRI on elbow.

    • Old Gator - May 12, 2014 at 7:55 PM

      It’s on the Feesh web site. Herald is getting it from the team. We’ll know more tomorrow.

  5. yahmule - May 12, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    This is really depressing.

    • Old Gator - May 12, 2014 at 7:58 PM

      “One should not expect too much of justice in this world.”
      -Cormac McCarthy, Cities of the Plain

  6. ironcurtin64 - May 12, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    Best stuff in baseball. Not a Marlins fan, but watch everytime he pitches. Of course, he’s on my fantasy team. Booo.

  7. groupofsevenrules - May 12, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    Old Gator – today at 2:30, well before the team made any announcement about this:

    “Or another way: that the team risked his health even further by letting him play sick, which they knew he was, before they knew why, or just as badly, risked him hurting himself by changing his motion or overthrowing to compensate for his weakness.”

    No, not karma, just a commenter who knows his stuff and, unfortunately, can foresee problems well ahead. Sorry Sewerbear, we had you pegged from the first day you tried to crawl back in here using your dumb new handle. Your psycho obsession with Gator was only part of the tell; some forms of stupidity and ignorance – including a complete misunderstanding of what karma is – are as personal as fingerprints and cannot be disguised.

    • Old Gator - May 12, 2014 at 7:53 PM

      Sewerbear? What’d I miss? “Jethro” reverted to type?

      The Feesh say “sprain,” but we won’t have the MRI results till tomorrow at the earliest. Ugh. I’m going to be sick.

      • groupofsevenrules - May 12, 2014 at 8:57 PM

        More or less. I emailed you with his comment because there was no point to repeating it after Craig must have nuked it along, one hopes, with his new “persona.” I suppose he figured he would fly below the radar if he ditched the gutter language but it’s just characteristic of his type to be unconscious of all the other patterns of discourse and attitude that give him away. But we both had him spotted last week – and even as much as said so. You would think that even a moron would have picked up on having blown his cover so quickly, but not this one. Which is why I kept trying to explain to him before he was banned that he had issues to deal with. This alter ego was his answer. Very sad. Especially sad and out of place under the circumstances of this thread, but taste was never his forte, was it? Anyway, he’s gone again, for the time being.

      • Old Gator - May 12, 2014 at 9:24 PM

        So, unfortunately, is El Keed. The source of the elbow surgery story is CBS, based on the initial examination of Fernandez by the Dodgers team physician – unless they got the MRI back in record time. Let’s hope for as long as it takes to become official that this is just the usual run of panicked rumor stories.

      • notsofast10 - May 13, 2014 at 12:04 AM

        Um yeah, but Dodger Dr Elattrache, from the Kerlin Jobe Clinic! He probably has a pretty good idea of what’s going on ya think?

      • Old Gator - May 13, 2014 at 7:00 AM

        Not sure if that was a response to me, but I’m not second guessing the doctors, just the press.

  8. illegalblues - May 12, 2014 at 6:59 PM

    it’s not fair

  9. thetoolsofignorance - May 12, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    One of the best and brightest in the game right now, too. I hope its nothing serious

  10. migoli - May 12, 2014 at 7:06 PM

    Just shut the season down now, have ALL pitchers have TJ, and start fresh next year!

  11. vanmorrissey - May 12, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    Against the worst offense in baseball something was definitely wrong. Sitting there we did not know it at the time but his speeds were 94-95 max, the knuckle curve was working, then it got worse and poof, he got lit up. Sad, was hoping for a 27 up, 27 down 27K game.

  12. stercuilus65 - May 12, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    Really a shame, hopefully it’s not too serious. This kid is scrappy and gifted.

  13. themuddychicken - May 12, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    THIS MAKES ME SO SAD! Damn baseball gods ruining our fun.

  14. disgracedfury - May 12, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    I’m for PEds if it gets these guys back on the mound.MLB should figure a way to stop this mass surgery of TJ.It’s starting to get boring seeing all these pitchers go down for mindless injuries.

    • notsofast10 - May 13, 2014 at 12:33 AM

      Yeah it is a bummer!
      Let’s pose this question. What if it is the PED’s that are the main contributor in the rise of TJ surgeries?
      The average velocity has certainly jumped over the last 10 years or so. Maybe PED’s are allowing the arm to throw harder than it is supposed to tearing ligaments at an alarming rate?

      • thekcubrats - May 13, 2014 at 2:56 PM

        Wow that’s just monumentally stupid. Not as dumb as the Fish manager and staff allowing Fern to go, sick and dehydrated… and then leaving him in endlessly while velocity and results plummeted…

        Doesn’t it seem far more likely that the recent spate of TJ surgeries (not this one in particular, which was a crime committed by stupid management, forcing the probability of an injury) might be related to the sudden absence of PEDs?

        People want, like Bud wants them to want, to think of PEDs in terms of bodybuilding sluggers cheating the game, but the posterboy ought to be Jason Grimsley, a fringe arm trying to hang onto million dollar possibilities by juicing himself into continued relevance. You remember Jason, don’t you? Guy who crawled through drop ceiling to retrieve Albert Belle’s corked bat from ump’s room? Read something:

        His drug use began in 1998 while in Buffalo, New York. After a nine-year MLB career, he was in the minors trying to get back to the majors after a shoulder injury. Among the drugs he has used are Deca-Durabolin, amphetamines, human growth hormone and Clenbuterol. Prior to the use of performance enhancing drugs he had earned a total of $1 million; subsequently he earned $9 million. His ERA dropped by a run.

        9 > 1

  15. salsashark2004 - May 12, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    Not a Marlins fan but it definitely sucks. As an O’s fan, I’m waiting to see how Dylan Bundy responds to his TJ surgery in game action and hoping Gausman doesn’t end up needing it at some point as well.

  16. jrob23 - May 12, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    The Marlins failed this kid. He was throwing up before the game and too sick to play. Being the young kid full of bravado he toughed it out and appears to have tried to compensate for feeling awful by over exerting himself resulting in injury. Now he may never be the same. What a shame

    • sportsfan18 - May 12, 2014 at 10:51 PM

      j rob…

      who robbed your brain?

      Lordy what a diagnosis you provided us all with…

      • renaado - May 13, 2014 at 1:24 AM

        He has his opinions on what he can tell about this topic, let him be.

      • Old Gator - May 13, 2014 at 9:15 AM

        It’s not just his opinion, Ren. Redmond himself said El Keed “sprained” it during the game on Friday. That’s been repeated on the local spawrts tork raydeeo programs and on the Feesh blog site. Of course he was overcompensating for his general weakness – you could see him overthrowing from the second inning onward.

  17. chiadam - May 12, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    This is what will continue when kids come up learning to pitch like that. Look at the torque on his elbow when he throws that slurvey breaking ball. It’s Kerry Wood-ish.

  18. miguelcairo - May 12, 2014 at 10:30 PM


    • indaburg - May 13, 2014 at 8:38 AM


  19. gmfw7 - May 12, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    i can’t think of anything deep or intellectual to say right now. bottom line: this really sucks. i’m a phillies fan, so anything that will help the phils catch the marlins in the standings and help guarantee miami doesn’t play .500+ ball for the rest of the season is a positive. however, it doesn’t matter what team you support, this kid is absolutely amazing to watch and his talent leaving the game for any period of time is a bad thing for us all. i don’t like to jump to conclusions or make grandiose predictions based off of small sample sizes, but i have never seen anyone this good at this young an age, and i think it’s safe to say that if he stays healthy throughout his career, he has the type of dominating stuff to be one of the best pitchers of his generation and, dare i say, all time. i’m going to keep my fingers crossed that this injury doesn’t lead to more and derail what should be a fabulous career a la kerry wood or mark prior.

  20. notsofast10 - May 13, 2014 at 12:01 AM

    I wonder if there is any correlation with the drastic increase in velocity over the last 10 years to the number of blown out elbows?

  21. renaado - May 13, 2014 at 12:07 AM

    Not a Marlins fan but… Man I’m goin to miss this guy. Hope he gets well early in the next season.

  22. babyfarkmcgeezax - May 13, 2014 at 1:19 AM

    The best young pitcher in the game, one of the best overall. Pure depression.

  23. paperlions - May 13, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    This is sad news. I can’t say that any pitcher getting TJ surgery is a surprise, but considering the apparent link between throwing and relying on a devastating slider (e.g. Harvey, Corvin, Fernandez) and early TJ surgery (Harvey was 24 but only started relying on the slider when he was 23, Corbin is 24 and also didn’t rely on the slider until he was 23, and Fernandez is 21)…well.

  24. kastout11 - May 13, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    One of the very best young arms in the game. Hopefully, he makes a full recovery and is ready for opening day next year. I wish something could be done to prevent all the elbow and shoulder issues we have been seeing lately. One good thing is, apparently after the surgery, they come back stronger then before the injury. I saw the story on Real Sports on HBO. They actually encourage some high school pitchers to have the surgery so they are stronger after the recovery and PT.

  25. Dr. Dodger - May 13, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    The only reason I bought tickets to the game on Wednesday was because he was supposed to pitch. Looks like I will be selling my tickets now.

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