LOS ANGELES — The Marlins got the news they’d been dreading since Sunday, when ace Jose Fernandez was scratched from his regular bullpen session in San Diego: He is probably going to miss the rest of the season.
Miami’s 7-1 loss to Josh Beckett and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night was overshadowed by the announcement team president Michael Hill made in the Dodger Stadium press box during the third inning. Hill said Marlins doctor Lee Kaplan had recommended Tommy John surgery to repair a significant tear in Fernandez’s right elbow.
“Getting the confirmation that we all obviously didn’t want is a big blow for us, for the team and for the organization,” manager Mike Redmond said. “I know he’s going through some tough decisions, but we know he’ll get himself fixed up and we’ll get him back as soon as we can.”
The 21-year-old Fernandez, last season’s NL Rookie of the Year, is 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA in eight starts.
“Pitching’s a precious commodity and we’ve always tried to be very careful with it. So you try to err on the side of caution,” Hill said. “We’ve done everything we’ve thought was the right thing, as to how we’ve handled him. It’s just one of those things that happened.”
The recovery time for the elbow ligament transplant procedure can be 12 to 18 months. The Marlins put Fernandez ace on the 15-day disabled list Monday.
“I’m sure he feels like he’s letting his teammates down because he got hurt, and all the things that come with the type of competitor he is,” Redmond said. “But all we really want is for him to be OK and getting himself healthy and getting back to the ballclub. That’s the important thing.”
Fernandez is visiting with family to talk about his options with surgery looming.
“He didn’t really give us an idea of when,” Hill said. “Obviously, a lot has gone on the past few days, so for him it’s a lot to take in and a lot to absorb. So he’s just taking the time to digest all the information he’s been given from both doctors.
“From what the doctors saw, they did not want to go the rehab route. They felt like surgery was the best option, and that was the recommendation. Hopefully, we can make that call and get things set up and get it taken care of so we can get him on the road to rehab,” Hill added.