Winning the National League Rookie of The Year award wasn't enough for Miami Marlins starter Jose Fernandez. After joining a young team that wasn't expected to win frequently and thriving in almost every start, Fernandez before the start of the season said his next goal was to win a Cy Young award.
Fernandez was second in the Cy Young voting in 2013, and after a formal announcement Monday, he can add National League Pitcher of the month for his April performance to his resume.
In six starts, Fernandez went 4-1 and led baseball with 55 strikeouts. His 1.59 ERA was inflated as a result of a poor outing against the Phillies (during which he gave up five runs), and opposing batters were only hitting .174 against Fernandez in April.
Fernandez ranked fourth among qualifying pitchers in batting average against (.174) while walking just eight to post a 6.88 strikeout-to-walk ratio (sixth best in the NL).
"What could you really say about that month that he had?" Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "That was really unbelievable. Everybody at the beginning of the year was wondering how this guy was going to do in his second season. He pretty much answered that."
While some questioned whether Fernandez would be able to continue the success he experienced in his first year, Fernandez has proven to be Miami's most consistent and durable starter early. In three of his six April starts, he didn't give up an earned run and made use of all of his pitches, most notably in a 14 strikeout performance against the Atlanta Braves.
Fernandez has also been able to use the spaciousness of Marlins Park to his advantage. He hasn't lost a game at home (12-0 in 20 starts), and was 3-0 with a 0.33 ERA in Miami to begin the year.
Before winning the NL Rookie of The Year award, Fernandez was named the National League's Rookie of The Month in both July and August. Fernandez, just 21, was asked to lead a youthful Marlins rotation, and has done so consistently. The early success of both Fernandez and Nathan Eovaldi has not only kept the Marlins in games, but also taken pressure off of the offense.
Fernandez is hopeful for many more "team accomplishments," he told reporters on Monday. But if he continues to dominate on the mound, the individual accolades, with the possiblilty of a Cy Young, will follow.