Jose makes case for best Marlins rookie pitcher ever

MIAMI — The greatest rookie season by a Marlins’ pitcher is one start away from being completed.

Jose Fernandez, the hard-throwing 21-year-old, is scheduled to take the mound on Wednesday night against the Braves at Marlins Park.

There will be no innings limited placed on the right-hander. If he is good to go six, seven or eight innings, he will be given a long leash. Pitch count, obviously, will be closely monitored, as will how he is holding up.

For the most part, Fernandez is under the directive to do what he can to win a ballgame.

Whenever Fernandez’s night is through, it will mark the completion of his stellar rookie season.

Before the season, Miami set an innings maximum of 170 innings. He now is at 165 2/3 innings, the club has given him some wiggle room to exceed his preseason number by a few innings.

What Fernandez has done is remarkable. He has become a serious frontrunner for National League Rookie of the Year.

Fernandez has already set the Miami rookie record for strikeouts (182), and his ERA of 2.23 is also a best among pitchers with at least 15 starts.

In franchise history, Dontrelle Willis (2003) is the lone Miami pitcher to be named NL Rookie of the Year.

Fernandez’s numbers stack up better than what the D-Train did a decade ago.

willis opened his rookie campaign at Double-A before he was called up in early May. Fernandez, meanwhile, was with Miami from the first day.

Willis was 14-6 with a 3.30 ERA in 27 starts and 160 2/3 innings. The lefty fanned 142, and batters hit .245 off him.

Fernandez is 11-6, 2.23 ERA in 27 starts. Opponents are limited to a .181 average off him.

Joe Frisaro

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