José Fernàndez would’ve made the 2017 Marlins a contender
  • While Sonny Gray was sent to the Yankees and Yu Darvish was being traded to the Dodgers, causing celebration among those respective <a href=""></a>; fan bases, a more subdued celebration in Marlins Park was occurring simultaneously. Monday would’ve been Jose Fernandez’s 25th birthday, and the Marlins quietly marked the event by allowing José’s family to tour the ballpark, with many of Fernàndez’s former teammates meeting his five-month-old daughter Penelope for the first time. It’s hard to believe that Fernàndez never even reached the quarter century mark in his life, particularly when taking into account all that he’d accomplished already in his young career. National League Rookie of the Year, a two-time All-Star (2013 and 2016), a successful return from Tommy John surgery (and who can forget José smashing a home run in his first plate appearance in over a year). At the tail end of his final season, José was putting the finishing touches on a fantastic year that saw him accumulate 253 strikeouts in 182.1 innings pitched, holding down a 2.92 ERA/2.24 FIP with 6.1 fWAR to his name, a <a href=""></a>; certifiable Cy Young candidate. More than a year removed from the TJ surgery that cost him most of 2014 and a portion of 2015, Fernàndez was unquestionably improving. It’s not unreasonable to say that he was among the game’s great pitchers, and if he were around today, he’d likely be in that conversation yet again. We are familiar with the cast of characters that the Marlins’ front office brought in during the off-season in an attempt to fill that gigantic void. Dan Straily. Edinson Volquez. Jeff Locke. Knowing that the starters might struggle to get to Fernàndez’s average of seven innings pitched, Junichi Tazawa and Brad Ziegler were also brought in to stretch out the pen. None of them as an individual was the pitcher that Fernàndez was, but collectively, perhaps they could make up for the loss on the field. In the dugout, the Marlins had been talking with Martin Prado about an extension. After Fernàndez’s death, with everyone desperate for a little feel-good news, the Marlins probably felt compelled to bring back Prado. Prado had been <a href="">Devin McCourty Womens Jersey</a> regarded as a team leader anyway, and the Marlins felt that (in addition to his on-the-field contributions) he would serve as an important voice in the clubhouse and ease the loss of Fernàndez’s dynamic presence.

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