Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez will undergo Tommy John surgery on Friday and will miss the rest of the 2014 season and at least part of the 2015 season.
Fernandez, who won NL Rookie of the Year in 2013 and finished third in NL Cy Young balloting, was having a sensational campaign in 2014. In eight starts, the 21-year right-handed Cuban defector was 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA and was leading the NL with 70 strikeouts in only 51 2/3 innings pitched. Fernandez experienced pain in his elbow after an uncharacteristically ineffective outing against the San Diego Padres last Friday.
The Marlins have fielded a competitive ball club in 2014. As of this writing, they are 21-20 and only two games back of the Atlanta Braves in the NL East. Losing Fernandez is a very big blow. Then again their bigger challenge is winning outside Miami. At home, the Marlins are 17-5. On the road, they are 4-15 and, at this moment, are losing 6-4 to the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.
Nevertheless, Fernandez's mound prowess and exuberant, gregarious personality will be missed by the Marlins and by the game at large during his recuperation.