Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez is still recovering from Tommy John surgery, but the hope is he returns to the mound by the All-Star break.

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Fernandez to Begin Extended Spring Training

Tuesday, May 26

Bob Nightengale of USA Today noted Tuesday that “Jose Fernandez will begin extended spring on Monday for #Marlins w hopes of returning by All Star break.”

Fernandez only appeared in eight games in 2014, but he won the National League Rookie of the Year Award and was an All-Star in 2013 with a 2.19 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 187 strikeouts in 172.2 innings. He underwent the Tommy John surgery in May 2014.

Michael Hill, the Marlins president of baseball operations, offered some clarity on the recovery time earlier in the season, per Gabrielle McMillen of Sporting News:

Once we get him on the mound, we’ll get a little more clarity. When you’re dealing with those injuries, you’re always cautiously optimistic. He’s worked extremely hard. He’s done a tremendous job doing everything he needs to do to get himself back. We won’t put a timetable on it. We don’t want him to feel any pressure.

Jason Martinez of pointed out how important Fernandez’ return would be for a struggling Marlins rotation:

While Miami could certainly use Fernandez at the front end of its rotation as the season progresses, it is also important to point out it is in last place in the National League East as of Tuesday.

Fernandez is only 22 years old and will be the future ace of this rotation for years to come, and it probably isn’t worth risking his long-term health just to get him back by the All-Star break of what will likely be a lost season. If he is completely ready to go, then he should pitch, but his extended future should be the most important part of the decision.

The Marlins need him healthy if they hope to compete next year and beyond. 

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