Jose Fernandez is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery Friday, exactly one week to the day from the last time he took the mound for the Marlins.
“It’s been a process for him, and I’m glad he’s having it done and starting the recovery process as soon as possible,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.
Dr. Neal ElAttrache of the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles will be performing the procedure to replace the torn ulnar collateral ligament in the 21-year-old pitcher’s right elbow.
The tear has been described as “significant,” and two doctors who examined the young pitcher determined that surgery was the only option.
Normal recovery time is 12 to 18 months, which means Fernandez could pitch again around this time next season if all goes well.
Randy Wolf, a 37-year-old veteran whom the Marlins signed Wednesday, is making a comeback from his second Tommy John operation.
“The road of caution is always the best way to go,” Wolf said of the recovery process that Fernandez will be facing. “Whenever I read a statement — or a quote — saying they’re ahead of schedule, red lights start flashing. I don’t think there is a schedule. It’s when your arm is ready.”
Wolf isn’t the only pitcher on the Marlins’ staff who has had the procedure. Starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi had Tommy John surgery when he was in high school. He has one of the fastest fastballs in the majors, one that routinely hits the high 90s on the radar gun.
Fernandez messaged fans on his Twitter and Instagram account: “To all my fans: you deserve to know that today, along with my family, I made the decision to undergo Tommy John surgery. It was not an easy one, but with my condition it is the only option where I can return to the game I love as the same player I am temporarily leaving the game as. I’ll be back as soon as my elbow will let me. And if anything … I have about a year to learn how to throw lefty ;) You haven’t seen the last of me Miami, I promise you that.”
Anthony “Disco” DeSclafani was so impressive in his major-league debut Wednesday, earning the win in the Marlins’ 13-3 victory over the Dodgers, that he earned another chance to start.
Redmond said DeSclafani will remain in the rotation, at least for now.
That means that with the Wolf signing, the Marlins now have a surplus of long relievers in their bullpen. Kevin Slowey and Brad Hand have also served in the long-relief role. Most teams have only one such reliever.
“We’re going to probably need to have Hand fill that Dan Jennings role, come out and face early lefties,” Redmond said. “We’re probably going to ask him to do a little bit more and get out of that long reliever mentality, and get him into situations in which he starts to face some lefties early in the game.”
DeSclafani held the Dodgers to two runs on seven hits over six innings. He struck out seven.
“Just what we needed,” Redmond said. “I think with any young guy you’re not sure what you’re going to get out there, with all of the emotions surrounding a major-league debut. Wow. It was fantastic.”
DeSclafani became the ninth Marlins starter to win in his major-league debut.
“I couldn’t believe I was facing the Dodgers lineup, going from Jacksonville to the big leagues,” he said. “I was just trying to control my nerves.”
The 13 runs were the most scored by the Marlins since May 5, 2013, when they put up 14 in a win over the Phillies. The Marlins totaled 17 hits, most coming off Dodgers starter Paul Maholm.
Reed Johnson, Jeff Mathis and Ed Lucas each homered.
The victory snapped the Marlins’ five-game losing streak.
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