Fans of the Miami Marlins may not have a lot to look forward to this season after the team traded away every star not named Giancarlo Stanton in the past year, but at least they'll get to see a glimpse of the future in Jose Fernandez.
According to reports, the team's top prospect and one of the most intriguing pitching prospects in the game, period, has been added to the 25-man roster.
#marlins call up Jose Fernandez— Joe Capozzi (@joecapMARLINS) March 31, 2013
#marlins Jose Fernandez will make major.league debut on Sunday in New York— clarkspencer (@clarkspencer) March 31, 2013
Just 20 years old, Fernandez will fill the team's final spot in the rotation after Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez were placed on the 15-day DL with shoulder injuries.
Fernandez has never pitched above A-ball, so his first stint in the big leagues could be somewhat rocky. Still, the potential is clearly there—in 2012, he finished 14-1 with a 1.75 ERA, 0.925 WHIP and 158 strikeouts in 134 innings for the Greensboro Grasshoppers and Jupiter Hammerheads.
As Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun Sentinel notes, Fernandez will be kept on a strict innings limit this season.
#Marlins will limit Jose Fernandez to 150-170 innings. Beinfest expects him to log them all in majors.— Juan C. Rodriguez (@JCRMarlinsbeat) March 31, 2013
Beinfest on Jose Fernandez "I know this has the potential to have some criticism... We r doing this completely with our eyes open" #marlins— Joe Capozzi (@joecapMARLINS) March 31, 2013
The fact that Fernandez is expected to remain with the Marlins this season, per president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest, makes him an intriguing sleeper for fantasy owners.
After Miami traded Hanley Ramirez to the Los Angeles Dodgers last season and then dealt Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio to the Toronto Blue Jays and Heath Bell to the Arizona Diamondbacks, Marlins fans wondered what there was to be excited about this season.
Beyond Stanton, there aren't many household names on the Marlins' roster this season. While that hasn't changed, at least Fernandez will give Miami fans a reason to watch every five days.