The 2015 Miami Marlins baseball season has been a dumpster fire — arguably the worst ever in team history — and it's only going to get a lot worse before it gets any better. Everything that could go wrong for the Fish this season has. It's throw-in-the-towel time for the team, which most definitely includes the shutting down of their superstar ace Jose Fernandez.
Miami placed Fernandez on the 15-day disabled list this past Tuesday because of a right biceps strain. Conventional wisdom would seem to support the idea of the Marlins calling it a season for Jose, but he's made it pretty apparent he plans on coming back to pitch later this season, team record be damned.
"As long as I'm healthy, I'm coming back," Fernandez said last week when asked about his recovery timetable in relation to the teams play. "Our record, it doesn't matter to me. As long as I'm healthy and ready to go, I will come back."
This determination to come back and pitch for a team that is on its way to a 100-loss season is further proof of Fernandez's notoriously fiery competitive nature, which in itself makes him who he is. However, the Marlins must step in and save him from himself. Fernandez has started just 15 games and thrown just 94 innings over the past two seasons due to arm troubles, so anything that could be gained mentally from a few late season starts is completely outweighed by what is to be gained physically by shutting him down.
Bringing Fernandez back this late in a lost season would be just another terrible decision by a front office that has managed to screw just about every move possible up this year, and worse yet, it could be jeopardizing the future of one of the most fun Marlins to watch. By throwing Jose Fernandez back on the mound some 40 games under .500, the Marlins would essentially be making a high-risk bet they in no shape or fashion need to place.
Jose Fernandez isn't going anywhere. He's 23 years old.
This past week C.J. Nitkowski of Fox Sports recently tried to explain why Jose Fernandez might not want to hang up his cleats just yet; and his argument was hollow. He argues Jose needs more innings because Fernandez has missed so much time over the past two years with injuries, leaving him possibly discouraged. Actually, what would be discouraging would be if Jose Fernandez hurt himself again while pitching with a less than one-hundred percent arm in game 157 for the last-place Marlins — that would suck.
It's not as if Fernandez will be sitting around playing Mario Kart all offseason. Once Fernandez has given the arm time to heal, he can then build strength the right way — not in pressure real-game situations that might see him pushing himself farther than he should out of competitiveness.
Amazingly, it seems as if the Marlins don't see it this way at all. Super-doofus manager Dan Jennings — possibly drunk at the time — thinks the team should just leave it up to the player, and hope for the best.
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"We'll let this run its course and then see where he is and when he can resume throwing and then go from there," Jennings said. "No timetable. Just got to get him back to where he feels right, but mentally I think he's good. I think there's peace of mind knowing it's not anything more than tendinitis in that bicep tendon."
This is an amazing development. Not only isJennings capable of stepping down from his general manager post to play baseball manager for a few months, but he's also assumed the role of team doctor and team psychiatrist — he must stay at so many Holiday Inn Express on road trips.
Someone, whether it be Jose Fernandez's agent Scott Boras, the team, or Fernandez himself, needs to make the right call and give the pitcher's arm a break until 2016.