Fernandez to make two more starts

ATLANTA — At last, there is clarity on the shut down date for Jose Fernandez.

The energized Marlins’ rookie will make two more starts, and they won’t combine for more than 12 total innings. So, barring a poor outing, look for the 21-year-old to go six innings in each of those games.

Manager Mike Redmond said on Saturday afternoon that Fernandez is looking at a firm innings maximum of 170 innings. Actually, it will be 170 2/3 innings, because he right now is at 158 2/3 innings.

Redmond also added that Fernandez will not pitch on the road, against the Cubs on Wednesday at Wrigley Field. Instead, he is being pushed back a couple of days to Friday, Sept. 6 at Marlins Park. He will face the Nationals that day.

And Fernandez’s projected last start will be Sept. 11 at home against the Braves.

“That was the range as an organization that we felt comfortable leaving him around, 150-170, depending on how many starts he did,” Redmond said. “It was kind of the unknown at the beginning of the season, how he would do, and how he would perform. We were looking at ways to protect him, based on how many innings he had gone before. That’s the number we came up with.”

Fernandez comes off a tough 2-1 loss to the Braves on Friday night, his first setback since July 7.

A strong National League Rookie of the Year candidate, Fernandez is 10-6 with a 2.33 ERA in 26 starts. He set the Marlins rookie record for strikeouts in a season, which is now 173.

Joe Frisaro

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