Miami Marlins shakeup: Prospect Jose Fernandez promoted

Miami Marlins top prospect Jose Fernandez pitches in spring training.
Welcome to the show, Jose Fernandez. (USA TODAY Sports)

If you’re a Miami Marlins fan – all three of you – then you better sit down, because Sunday’s roster moves are sure to make your head spin.


The Miami Marlins starting rotation yesterday:

Ricky Nolasco, Nathan Eovaldi, Wade LeBlanc, Henderson Alvarez and Kevin Slowey.

The Miami Marlins starting rotation today:

Ricky Nolasco, Kevin Slowey, Wade LeBlanc, Alex Sanabia and … Jose Fernandez

*Double take* Jose Fernandez? Huh? What?

Out of the blue, Eovaldi and Alvarez are headed to the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. Huh? What? Where did that come from? Has any team in the history of MLB ever shaken up its rotation so violently the day before the season opener?

I have to admit, I’m excited to see Fernandez, the Miami Marlins number-one prospect and number seven on MLB’s top 100 list, make his MLB debut on April 7 against the New York Mets. Yet, I’m not sure it’s the right time. While he dominated last season with a 14-1 record, 1.75 ERA and minor-league leading 0.93 WHIP, he did it at two levels of single-A ball. We’re talking about a jump from single-A to the starting rotation! What makes it even worse is the Miami Marlins demoted him to the double-A just last week, so Fernandez went from the spring training roster to double-A to the starting rotation in a matter of days. That would test the nerves of any player, but imagine what it does to a 20-year-old?

It also means the Miami Marlins lose a year of control with Fernandez, which is a bit of a stunner considering how stingy owner Jeffrey Loria is. The good news is Fernandez is legit and could be the phenom all scouts expect him to be. He could be Mike Trout-ish in 2013. Heck, even if he was Bryce Harper-y, that would be fine, too.

In addition to the Fernandez and Sanabia changes, the Miami Marlins announced today they are selecting the contracts of Austin Kearns, Casey Kotchman, Chad QuallsChris ValaikaJohn Maine and Slowey. That’s a record number of moves according to president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest, as reported by Joe Frisaro at

“We’ve never seen anything like this, in terms of selecting seven guys,” said Beinfest to “It’s not even close. The number on the DL is high. The number designated for assignment is probably a record with what I have been involved with. In the last 72 hours, the number of different plans that we had in regards to pitching, I think, will be up there, as well.”

Welcome to Miami Marlins baseball, 2013 style. Expect the unexpected this year and you won’t go wrong.

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