Five years after fleeing Cuba and three months after beginning his major league career sooner than planned, Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez is an All-Star.
Fernandez learned Saturday he would represent the Marlins in the 2013 All-Star Game at New York’s Citi Field on July 16.
The right-hander reportedly was summoned to manager Mike Redmond’s office following Miami’s loss at St. Louis and was first told he had been selected to the National League team during a phone call with team owner Jeffrey Loria.
“It’s just incredible,” Fernandez was quoted saying in the Miami Herald. “When they told me, I just started sweating and my hands started getting cold. They still are right now. I was just sitting around and thinking this is just incredible. I’m going to do the best I can.”
Fernandez, who’s scheduled to start Sunday’s series finale against the Cardinals, is 5-4 with a 2.72 ERA. Opposing hitters are batting .193 against him.
The talented young pitcher had been targeted to the start the season at Double-A but was added to the Marlins roster just before opening day following shoulder injuries to starters Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez.
Fernandez, who escaped Cuba in April 2008, will turn 21 on July 31. He becomes the youngest Marlins player to be named to the All-Star team; Miguel Cabrera was 21 years and three months old when he was picked in 2004, and Dontrelle Willis was also 21 when he was on the 2003 NL team.
In beating San Diego on Monday night, Fernandez became the third pitcher 20 years old or younger since 1921 to record at least 10 strikeouts while allowing two hits or fewer and walking one batter or fewer in a game. The others were Dwight Gooden (New York Mets, 1984) and Kerry Wood (Chicago Cubs, 1998).
Following that game, Fernandez was asked by FOX Sports Florida about what being an All-Star would mean to him.
“It would incredible,” Fernandez said Monday. “It’s something I wanted to happen in my career a lot of times. I don’t know hoe to explain it. It would be incredible if I get a chance to go to represent this team and Miami and all the Cubans and all the Spanish who follow this team.”