Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Fernandez Down: The MLB Loses Another Young Star to Injury

Earlier today, May 12, the Marlins announced that young, phenom, ace, all-star, rookie of the year winning (he is pretty good) pitcher Jose Fernandez underwent an MRI in Los Angeles.  It got worse from there.  Slowly through out the afternoon information made its way to the public that Fernandez was headed to the DL with an elbow sprain.  A couple hours later it was reported that Jose underwent a second MRI back in Florida, unfortunately confirming the worst.  Not long after that announcement, it was made known that Jose Fernandez is expected to have season ending elbow surgery.

The loss of Fernandez for the rest of the year is detrimental to the entire league and even more so the Miami Marlins.  Having started the year healthy and in excellent fashion he was an early but true candidate for the NL Cy Young award.  The Miami Marlins were playing good baseball, better than expected. Fernandez along with All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton were leading the way for the team on the field and as great team mates in the club house.  Its easy to get behind a guy that pitches as well as he does, but that is not all he does for the team.  He leaves everything out there on the field, due to his love for the game.  Fernandez has fun, and takes his hacks sometimes resulting in this and he even thinks about stealing a base every now and then.  Fernandez wants to win and will do damn near anything to help the cause, that kind of spirit is contagious.

Fellow team mates of Fernandez aren't the only ones who will miss this budding super star.  Having posted numbers such as a 2.44 ERA, 12.2 k's/9 and 2.3 BB/9  before the injury this year, the 21 year old had become must see TV for baseball fans.  Not many match what he is able to do on the mound, as he is catapulted himself into the elite echelon in a little over a full seasons worth of pitching.   Simply put this guy sold tickets because the talent he shows on the mound is captivating.

For the MLB this makes two budding super star phenom pitchers going down with season ending surgeries.  New York Mets Pitcher, Matt Harvey saw his season end in August last year due to needing Tommy John's surgery.  Early fall out from the Jose Fernandez announcement has lots of pundits questioning young pitchers with power arms, guys that can throw 96-100 with very sharp, hard thrown breaking pitches to compliment the heat.  There has been a recent fascination among teams with these arms, and for good reason, Harvey and Fernandez are both absolutely nasty when on top of their game.  Time will tell if these two young guns can fully recover from their injuries and be the pitches they were before, or whether or not there will be lingering effects.  Should there be career long ramifications of getting elbow surgery for these power arms, teams might start to think twice before prioritizing these guys in the draft.  Several top, strong arms such as Dylan Bundy and Jameson Taillon who have yet to even reach the majors have suffered like injuries recently too.  All of these guys have remarkable talent, but the risk taken on their longevity may not match the investment being made as many of these guys were high draft choices.  How they bounce back will be worth watching, teams may begin to shy away from the power arm if the results aren't good. 


Cole Miller, from Haddonfield, NJ, is currently a sophomore Sport Management major at Drexel. Over the summer, Cole volunteered for the 43rd SABR convention, a large convention with many speakers and other events for baseball fans who enjoy the new age statistics being brought to baseball such as WAR (wins above replacement ).   Cole is a huge fan of baseball, specifically the Phillies.

You can connect on Cole on LinkedIn here.

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