Earlier in the offseason, many Miami Marlins fans were complaining that the team was not giving enough of an opportunity to potential young stars Christian Yelich and Jose Fernandez to prove themselves at the major league level, primarily because they had yet to see the Double-A level. Well, the Marlins' hands were forced thanks to shoulder injuries to starting pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez. As a result, Jose Fernandez will get a chance to start the 2013 season on the major league roster and in the team's rotation.
#marlins, put Henderson Alvarez & Nathan Eovaldi on dl both shoulder— Joe Capozzi (@joecapMARLINS) March 31, 2013
new rotation is Ricky. Slowey, LeBlanc, Ricky, Fernandez— Joe Frisaro (@JoeFrisaro) March 31, 2013
Color me surprised by the news. Fernandez is electric and very clearly the top Marlins prospect, but the Marlins did have some options in the minors. One only has to look back one week to see Jacob Turner, who was recently demoted for poor play in spring training. If the Marlins are not expecting either starting pitcher to be out for too long, why not work Turner back into the rotation and let him work a few major league innings until the others come back? The Fish also had Alex Sanabia in Triple-A who could fill in admirably.
Furthermore, it seems as though the Marlins are not limiting Fernandez's major league exposure. According to Juan C. Rodriguez, Larry Beinfest says the Fish may keep him around all year.
#Marlins will limit Jose Fernandez to 150-170 innings. Beinfest expects him to log them all in majors.— Juan C. Rodriguez (@JCRMarlinsbeat) March 31, 2013
It is extremely surprising that an injury would convince the Marlins to make such a drastic break from their plans. We'll see how long this thinking lasts.
The Fish designated Zack Cox, Gorkys Hernandez, Scott Maine, and Evan Reed for assignment in order to make room for this move. Two of those names are unsurprising, as they are minor league fodder. Hernandez's name has been tied to trade rumors recently thanks to him not having options remaining. Cox is perhaps the most puzzling move, since he was just acquired last season to help provide the Marlins some minor league depth and potential upside at third base. There was no indication that Cox was out of options in 2013, meaning the Fish are risking his ownership status by designating him for assignment..