Marlins ace Fernandez announces return date as July 2 vs. Giants
MIAMI -- Mark your calendars.
Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez plans on returning from Tommy John surgery on July 2 when the San Francisco Giants visit Marlins Park. He made the announcement during Monday's FOX Sports Florida telecast.
"It's been great," Fernandez said of his rehab during the telecast. "I think the last start was the start when I turned the corner.
"I feel really great. I feel ready to pitch in the big leagues, but there's a process that we all have to through."
Fernandez will make his third rehab start on Wednesday at Round Rock for Triple-A New Orleans, upping his pitch count to 80. After that, he is in line for two more outings on June 22 and 27.
"I feel ready," Fernandez said before batting practice Monday. "I feel like I can pitch already. There's always stuff they want me to work on even when I get here. There's always stuff. During the course of the season every start you work and bullpen and two days after you work on something. Theres always something you could get better at. I feel pretty much ready. I'm just trying to feel ready and good. I think it's going to be fun."
In his previous start on Friday for Class-A Jupiter, he tossed five scoreless innings while mixing his pitches in more game-like situations. His debut didn't go as well, as he surrendered five runs over three innings at Port Charlotte.
The 22-year-old righty underwent Tommy John surgery on May 16, 2014. His last start came a week earlier in San Diego. He gave up six runs (five earned) on six hits -- two homers --- with five strikeouts and one walk over five frames that night.
Fernandez, the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year and an NL Cy Young finalist, also made the All-Star team that season. Over 36 big-league starts, Fernandez has an 16-8 record and 2.25 ERA. In 224 1/3 innings, he has struck out 257 batters.
"It's been almost 15 months," Fernandez said. "If anything right now ... probably the first three months were hard because, ‘When can I do this or that?' Now I know the process, I have it written down. Just taking it day by day and hopefully keep getting better start by start. The main goal everybody knows is being healthy. It's got to feel the same way as before I got hurt."