Miami Marlins' starter Jose Fernandez, after beginning the season with consecutive wins against the Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres, was named one of two National League Players of The Week for the first week of the season. Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies was the other player recognized.
Last year's National League Rookie of The Year award winner, Fernandez refused to discuss his future when asked throughout the offseason if he felt he can repeat the success he had last season. In 2013, Fernandez went 12-6 in 28 starts and posted a 2.19 ERA. After starting the season 2-0 with an ERA on 0.71, Fernandez began the year the way he finished in October.
Since he was productive since being promoted last season, this isn't the first time Fernandez was given the honor. He also was recognized the weeks of Jul. 28 and Aug. 25 in his rookie year.
Fernandez dominated the Rockies' lineup on Opening Day, and was just as efficient in six innings against the Padres on Saturday night. The right-hander tied the Reds' Johnny Cueto for the most strikeouts in the Major Leagues (17) after using his repetoire to his advantage.
Fernandez struck out nine and allowed just one run over six innings in his first career Opening Day start against the Rockies. That was the only run he allowed all week, as he threw 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball on Saturday against the Padres. Fernandez is now 11-0 in 17 starts at Marlins Park, extending his club record for most consecutive home starts without a loss to begin a career.
Fernandez's success at home reveals what most visiting pitchers come to find out-Marlins Park can be a great place to pitch. The spacious gaps make it tempting for players who hit the ball to all fields consistently, but Fernandez rarely needs the help of the park itself-his ability to pile up strike outs using a fastball and several offspeed pitches makes him that much more valuable.
As the Marlins begin a six game road trip Tuesday night in Washington, Fernandez will pitch in Friday night's contest against the Phillies in Philadelphia. While it is a small sample size, Fernandez is expected to have another solid year as Miami's ace.
Giancarlo Stanton also considered
MLB.com noted that Giancarlo Stanton was also considered for this week's award after beginning the year with 12 RBIs and two home runs to complement a .345 average and .406 on-base percentage. Protection for Stanton in the lineup hasn't been a concern early because of the early success of Casey McGehee and Garrett Jones.