Fish Stripes readers already got a chance to see the good side and bad side of the promotion of Jose Fernandez by the Miami Marlins, but while we have heard plenty from me, we have yet to hear from our fellow Fish Stripes authors. The writers of Fish Stripes also have thoughts on the matter, and they present them here.
Andrew Townes, Fish Bites
I think I like it. Of course I’d like to see Jose Fernandez pitch some in the high minors before being put in the Marlins rotation if only to make me more confidant he could succeed at the major league level. I think Jose Fernandez is capable excelling in the major leagues at this very moment, but I'm not sure I have seen enough to exactly prove that. I am not worried about the impact rushing Fernandez to the Majors could have on his career, in part because I believe he has the mental toughness to fail and learn from his mistakes. If he can excel in the Majors right now, as I think he can, I do not see a good reason to keep him in the minors where he would be wasting his talent.
The only definite concern I have is with Marlins sacrificing Jose Fernandez's club control years. I would rather the Marlins use club control at a time where we are more certain Jose Fernandez can both pitch well for the Marlins and at a time where we are more certain the Marlins can win meaningful games. If the Marlins take now as an opportunity to extend Jose Fernandez through arbitration and perhaps even a free agent year or two any financial concerns with Fernandez's club control would be alleviated and I believe the Marlins will have passed their first real test in the post-firesale world of 2013.
Scott G, Fish Bites
For the Miami Marlins' organization, everything has been about timing. That is why it was believed that Jose Fernandez would begin the year with Double-A Jacksonville, in order to give him another year of eligibility. Once Eovaldi and Alvarez got hurt, the door was open, and with an impressive spring performance, Fernandez won the job.
Because of the fact that he never pitched above High-A, Fernandez may have several rocky outings throughout the year. Those are expected, and with a 150 to 170-pitch limit, he can very easily win 10 or more games if he gets enough run support. For a Miami organization offering a Groupon for Opening Night tickets, promoting Fernandez will sell more seats and give fans one more reason (aside from Giancarlo Stanton) to watch.
Eric Weston, Prospects and Draft Coverage
This strikes me as an ill-advised and short-sighted personnel decision. The goal for the Marlins during this rebuilding phase should be to develop their prospects, not improve the major league roster. Jose Fernandez, while extremely talented, belongs in Double-A Jacksonville. If he destroys the competition there, by all means, promote him. Promote him to Triple-A. Struggling in the majors could set back his development, and hurt his confidence. It is possible that I am wrong, and that Fernandez could surprise us all, and perform well in Miami. This still wouldn't be a good outcome for the Marlins. His service clock will have been activated a full year early, hurtling him towards free agency when the Marlins most need cost-controlled young stars. His quality performance would have been in pursuit of nothing too. The Marlins will almost certainly not make the playoffs this year. Fernandez isn't trade deadline bait, he's an integral part of the long-term future of the Marlins.
Conor Dorney, Analysis
The Marlins may have been one of the most quiet teams this spring, but the promotion of top prospect Jose Fernandez has thrust them back into the spotlight once again. Overall, even though Fernandez is a pitcher with tremendous stuff and confidence beyond his 20 years of age, the fact is that he's still only 20 years old and lacks any experience beyond High-A. Listing injuries as the primary cause for Fernandez's promotion also doesn't sell me on the idea, seeing as how the club has had a cavalcade of minor league free agents like Chone Figgins and others to come through camp and attempt to provide a stopgap at various positions of need. Nonetheless, it appears that Fernandez may be in the big league rotation for the long haul and that has at the very least added quite a bit of intrigue to what was expected to be an otherwise uneventful season for the Fish.
Sam Evans, Prospects and Draft Coverage
By promoting Jose Fernandez to the Majors to start the season, the Marlins are making a risky choice that is not in the best interest of the pitcher. Sure, Fernandez has amazing composure and he will be able to bounce back from some of those rough outings that every pitcher faces. However, he is 20 years old and has yet to play above High-A. We'll see as to whether Fernandez can help boost attendance, but other than that, there aren't many advantages to bringing him up so early. Why waste one of his service years when he will be struggling to keep his head above water and playing for one of the worst teams in the Majors? Expect Fernandez to put up numbers somewhat similar to Felix Hernandez's second season in the majors if everything goes right. However, it is more likely that Fernandez won't be able to hold his spot in the rotation past the All-Star break.