Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, who landed on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow strain on Tuesday, has been recommended to undergo Tommy John surgery by both Dodgers lead team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache as well as Marlins physician Dr. Lee Kaplan.
Results of two MRI exams — one in Los Angeles on Monday and the other in Miami on Tuesday — confirmed a torn ligament in Fernandez’s right elbow. No date has been scheduled for surgery, but it should occur sometime in the near future.
President of baseball operations Michael Hill told media at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night that the reigning National League Rookie of the Year is still digesting the news and will discuss the matter with his family.
José Update: Results confirm torn right elbow ligament. Tommy John surgery recommended. No decision made on if/when surgery will take place.
"I think it’s been a range of emotions for him," Hill told FOX Sports Florida during its Tuesday night broadcast. "Initially there was just shock. In San Diego, he still said he was ready to go, he wanted to go out and throw. He was going through dramatic extremes of meeting with the doctor and finding out there was indeed a tear. It’s definitely a blow for him. Never been injured before, strong young man."
The 21-year-old went 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA in eight starts, but the ERA was 1.74 before Fernandez was knocked around for six runs (five earned) over five innings in a loss to the Padres on Friday. In his previous outing on May 4, he threw a season-high 114 pitches against the Dodgers.
During Fernandez’s rookie season, the organization set an innings limit as he finished with 172 2/3 innings.
"You do all you can to protect them," Hill said. "Ultimately they pitch and you’re hearing there was a significant tear in the ligament. … It’s just something we’ll continue to investigate to see if there’s something we can do to protect our athletes."