Some wiggle room in Jose’s innings limit?

MIAMI — Perhaps there will be some wiggle room in Jose Fernandez’s innings limit.

The Marlins’ rookie sensation is making his 27th start of the season on Friday night against the Nationals at Marlins Park.

Fernandez is at 158 2/3 innings, and the team a few days ago said the rookie is facing a firm 170 innings limit before he is shut down. Once that was announced, the question became: How would the remaining 12 innings be divided over two starts?

The natural assumption is, if he wasn’t laboring, he would go six innings on Friday and six on Sept. 11 in his last outing, which is scheduled to be at home against the Braves.

On Friday, manager Mike Redmond clarified where things stood with Fernandez in relation to how the innings would be dispersed. Before facing the Nationals, Redmond discussed the matter with the star rookie.

“We’re going to focus on tonight,” Redmond told the rookie right-hander. “I told Jose not to worry about all the talk about the innings, and how some people are saying it’s going to be six and six.

“I just told him, ‘Listen, this is how it’s going to go — tonight, you going to go out there and try to win a ballgame. If it’s seven innings, it’s seven innings. If it’s eight innings, it’s eight innings. Don’t worry about the other stuff. That’s how we’re going to do it. Just go to win a ballgame. We’ll worry about the innings after that for whatever is going to happen down the road.’ “

Even if Fernandez reaches eight innings on Friday, he is expected to make his final start on Sept. 11. Most likely, the rookie will be given the same advice that day, but we’ll have to see how it all shapes up after the hard-throwing right-hander does on Friday.

Joe Frisaro

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