The process that led to
Fernandez attorney, Ralph Fernandez, released a statement Friday that shed some light on the injury. Fernandez apparently suffered a thigh injury when he was hit by a line drive May 4 against the Dodgers that caused a chance in his delivery.
"This prompted a completely unanticipated change in delivery which neither the staff nor his coaches could discern," the statement reads, via the Sun-Sentinel. "Despite many exchanges on the subject in the days that followed he felt that with the Marlins regaining first place in the division he could not let his team down. Apparently the injury was worse than he believed."
The hamstring injury ultimately led to a domino effect, where Fernandez might have over compensated. The ultimately injury to his elbow came during the third inning of his finale start against the Padres, which ultimately led Fernandez to require surgery to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow.
Fernandez underwent successful surgery Friday in Los Angeles, and is expected to require 12 to 18 months of recovery before he is able to return to pitching in games.
Fernandez is out for the season, but Heyman is further reporting that his elbow is otherwise in excellent shape, making him a strong candidate to return to full health.
We've cried our tears and cursed our fate, but at some point, we have to move on from
So then, what do you do about it? You didn't invest this much of your life in a frivolous game only to quit when the going gets tough, did you? Of course not.
First, understand you won't be getting Fernandez-like production from anybody you can reasonably acquire, but you can fill that hole at the top of your rotation with an ace -- or something close to it -- if you're willing to invest in an underachiver. Some of the best buy-low candidates at starting pitcher include Chris Sale, Cole Hamels, Matt Cain, Jordan Zimmermann, Homer Bailey and Mike Minor, whose one bad start in three might have his owner feeling uneasy. Or maybe not, but it's worth a shot. I'd also include Anibal Sanchez in that group. I have my own concerns about him given how inefficient he was before the injury, but hey, a bargain is a bargain.
Obviously, you can't expect to find anything as good on the waiver wire, but some of the high-upside types still available in less than 80 percent of leagues include Ubaldo Jimenez, Josh Beckett, Drew Pomeranz, Tyler Skaggs and Drew Smyly.
Fernandez was examined by team physician Dr. Lee Kaplan Tuesday, who confirmed the initial diagnosis of a torn UCL. Tommy John surgery has been recommended for this week, though a firm schedule has yet to be decided on.
Fernandez suffered the injury during Friday's start against the Padres, and it will cost him the remainder of the season and at least some of next season as well. Typical recovery time for ligament replacement is between 12 and 18 months, so Fernandez will likely not return to action in the majors until at least next May, following a lengthy rehabilitation process.
Fernandez suffered the injury in his 36th major-league start, even after the Marlins exercised extreme caution in monitoring his workload. The 2013 Rookie of the Year for the National League was capped at 172 2/3 innings last season, and had topped 100 pitches in just three of his first eight starts this season.
Fernandez, who has reportedly been diagnosed with a torn UCL in his right elbow, will undergo the surgery in Los Angeles by week's end. Further details are not yet known, though the team will likely make an official announcement in the coming days, if this is confirmed.
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