Fernandez called up on wild transaction day

Jose Fernandez signs his first big league contract.

Jose Fernandez signs his first big league contract.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Jose Fernandez is on the Marlins’ Opening Day roster after all.

The decision to promote their top prospect was made largely because of injuries to the rotation. The startling transaction came on arguably the wildest day before a season opener in franchise history.

Fernandez, ranked seventh on MLB.com’s Top 100 Prospect List, has not pitched above Class A ball. But the hard-throwing right-hander, the team’s No. 1 draft pick in 2011, got the nod because Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez were placed on the disabled list due to right shoulder inflammation.

Alvarez is on the DL, retroactive to March 27, while Eovaldi’s stint is retro to March 24.

The injuries have forced the Marlins to scramble their rotation. Eovaldi was initially set to pitch on Wednesday at Washington, while Alvarez was lined up to go on Friday at New York.

Now, the revised rotation has Ricky Nolasco on Opening Day on Monday. Kevin Slowey, initially scheduled to be the fifth starter, will pitch on Wednesday against the Nationals, and Wade LeBlanc will close out the series on Thursday.

Miami on Sunday also recalled right-hander Alex Sanabia, who will start at the Mets on Friday. Nolasco will start on Saturday, and Fernandez will make his MLB debut on April 7.

Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said Fernandez will be on an innings limit and pitch count limit this year. The right-hander will be between 150-170 innings. Beinfest didn’t give the specifics on pitch count.

“This has been tugging at us a little bit,” Beinfest said of how quickly to promote Fernandez. “We watched him in big league camp. We watched him last year. We watched him go down to the Minor Leagues. He’s been just outstanding.”

On Sunday, the Marlins announced they have selected the contracts of seven players — Fernandez, Austin Kearns, Casey Kotchman, Chad Qualls, Kevin Slowey, Chris Valaika and John Maine.

Because Miami’s 40-man roster had been at 40, the team needed to clear up space. In doing so, the Marlins placed Logan Morrison (right knee), Alfredo Silverio (right elbow) and Jose Ceda (right elbow) on the 60-day disabled list.

“We’ve never seen anything like this, in terms of selecting seven guys,” Beinfest said. “It’s not even close. You usally get a couple of guys. The number on the DL is high. The number designated for assignment is probably a record with what I have been involved with. In the last 72 hours, the number of different plans that we had in regards to pitching I think will be up there as well.”

First baseman Joe Mahoney (oblique) and catcher Jeff Mathis (broken collarbone) were placed on the 15-day disabled list.

The club also designated for assignment infielder Zack Cox, outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, lefty reliever Scott Maine and right-hander Evan Reed.

Joe Frisaro


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