Marlins notebook

High praise for Miami Marlins’ Jose Fernandez

 

a1fernandez@MiamiHerald.com

Marlins manager Mike Redmond thinks Jose Fernandez has the potential to become “the face of the franchise.”

With a stellar first half to his rookie season that continued with another historic performance Monday night, Fernandez has his manager’s endorsement on becoming an All-Star as early as this weekend.

“I don’t make those decisions, but I think he should be,” Redmond said. “He’s been consistent. He’s pitched well. I think you look at a guy who is 20 years old and has come to the big leagues and dominated. You look at his story and what he’s been able to do. He has the ability to be a No.1 one pitcher for a long time.”

According to Stats LLC, Fernandez became only the third pitcher since 1921 to record at least 10 strikeouts while allowing only two hits or fewer and walking one batter or fewer in a game, joining Dwight Gooden (1984) and Kerry Wood (1998).

If the Marlins’ Cuban-born rookie phenom ends up being their representative when Major League Baseball announces its All-Star rosters Saturday, he would become the youngest selection in the team’s history. Dontrelle Willis (2003) and Miguel Cabrera (2004) each were 21 years old when they earned their first All-Star nod.

Fernandez, who likely won’t pitch again until Sunday against the Cardinals, is 5-4 with a 2.72 ERA — a major league-best among rookie starting pitchers — in 16 starts.

Fernandez also has 94 strikeouts, which ranks second in the majors among rookie pitchers, trailing only Cardinals right-hander Shelby Miller (101).

“It may depend on what they need for the [All-Star] roster,” Redmond said. “I think of Dontrelle, who came up and won nine straight games as a rookie. If we played like [we are now] from the start of the season, [Fernandez’s] record would be a lot better. But you look at what he did [Monday], he was dominant.”

“There’s times he pitches like he’s 25 [years old], and times he pitches like he’s 20,” Redmond said. “He’s able to feel that and learn from it. When that happens, he knows that’s the youth coming in to play. Maybe he’s looking at the radar gun and trying to be too nasty. We tell him that you have to pitch like you’re 24 or 25, and he’s able to do that.

“The day he pitches he brings so much energy. He thinks he should get everyone out and thinks he should get a hit every time he’s up to bat. He’s up and moving in the dugout and talking to everyone, cheering. He’s a total package.”

• After clearing a roster spot following Monday night’s win against the Padres by optioning outfielder Jordan Brown, the Marlins recalled infielder Donovan Solano from Triple A New Orleans.

Coming up

•  Wednesday: Marlins RHP Ricky Nolasco (4-8, 3.93 ERA) at Atlanta Braves LHP Mike Minor (8-3, 2.98), 7:10 p.m., Turner Field.

•  Thursday: Marlins RHP Henderson Alvarez (2013 debut) at Braves RHP Julio Teheran (6-4, 3.12), 7:10 p.m., Turner Field.

•  Scouting report: Friday’s outing, in which he gave up a season-high 11 hits and six runs (five earned) in a 9-2 loss to San Diego, might be Nolasco’s last start as a Marlin. But unless he’s traded before Wednesday night, Nolasco will get at least one more attempt to break a personal three-game losing streak at Turner Field.

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