Rosenthal: Marlins fear ace Fernandez will require Tommy John surgery

It appears the Marlins are anticipating the worst when it comes to news of Jose Fernandez's elbow.

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Playing above .500 near the 40-game mark, and sporting two of baseball’s brightest young stars, the Miami Marlins certainly appeared headed to greener pastures, perhaps even a dream season in the cards.

It appears the season is a nightmare now.

FOX Sports MLB Insider Ken Rosenthal has confirmed earlier reports, that all signs point to ace Jose Fernandez needing those three dreaded words — Tommy John surgery.

The team is yet to confirm the reports, but manager Mike Redmond did address the injury Monday, when the Marlins first placed the reigning National League Rookie of the Year on the 15-day disabled list with what they called a sprained right elbow.

"I think you’re always concerned when you’re talking about elbows," Redmond said. "That’s something we have to wait to find out. But I think we’re always concerned about that with pitchers, especially, these days."

Fernandez underwent an MRI exam in Los Angeles on Monday before returning to Miami for further evaluation by the team’s medical staff. Recovery time from the elbow ligament-replacement surgery is typically 12-18 months. It was apparently the MRI exam that caused the Marlins to fear the worst.

The Sun Sentinel was the first to report that the franchise expects Fernandez to require the season-ending surgery.

HIGH FASHION WITH A PURPOSE

Fernandez was scheduled to throw a bullpen session Sunday in San Diego, but it was called off after he complained of elbow soreness.

"We’re going to take care of him and try to take every precaution necessary," Redmond said. "He said he had discomfort, so we’re immediately going to get him treatment and the rest he needs."

Fernandez is 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA, but it was 1.74 before he was rocked for six runs (five earned) over five innings in his most recent start Friday vs. the Padres. He had thrown a season-high 114 pitches in his previous outing, a 5-4 victory over the Dodgers on May 4.

He leads the majors with 70 strikeouts but managed only five against the Padres. The 21-year-old told reporters Saturday he was pitching with an upset stomach and even threw up during the first inning.

During his rookie season, the organization set an innings limit on him. After his final outing of 2013 against the Braves, he had tossed 172-2/3 innings.

— FOX Sports Florida contributed to this report