Marlins forced to hold breath on Fernandez's triple
ATLANTA -- Caught up in the moment on Friday night, Jose Fernandez showed a lapse in judgment that caused concern in the Marlins' dugout.
The organization loves the energy Fernandez brings to the mound. It just would like to see him temper his enthusiasm a bit when running the bases. Fernandez received a reprimand for a headfirst slide on his triple in the third inning of Miami's 2-1 loss to the Braves at Turner Field.
Seeing one of the top, young pitchers in the game expose his throwing arm on a slide had everyone in the Marlins' organization holding their breath.
Fortunately, Fernandez was fine. He sprung up, dusted himself off and a batter later scored Miami's lone run on Christian Yelich's single.
"I know it's not smart," Fernandez said. "I just have got to learn from that. I can hurt my career."
Miami manager Mike Redmond made it a point to remind Fernandez to slide feet first, or even stay at second if he thinks he is chancing injury by attempting to advance another base.
The Marlins have been very protective of their 21-year-old rookie, who will be shut down after two more starts -- or a combined 12 innings. He is next slated to pitch on Friday at home against the Nationals.
The likely season finale for Fernandez will be on Sept. 11 against the Braves at Marlins Park. Already keeping tabs on Fernandez's arm, the organization doesn't want to be concerned about his hustle on the bases.
Fernandez's slide reminded Redmond of a conversation he had with Dontrelle Willis in 2003. Like Fernandez now, Willis was an bundle of energy on the Marlins' 2003 World Series title team.
In Spring Training of '03, Willis made a headfirst slide into home plate. He was gently tagged out on a play that could have been disastrous.
"I remember having a conversation with Dontrelle Willis, telling him, 'Please, Dontrelle, don't ever do that again,'" Redmond said. "Dontrelle did it into home plate. Jose did it at third. I hope we don't ever see that again."
Fernandez is trying to make things happen on a team that hasn't had much success. Miami had gone nine straight games not scoring more than three runs before Saturday's 5-4 loss to Atlanta.
Also, it was the first triple Fernandez can ever remember having. He didn't bat in the Minor Leagues, and he never had a three-base hit in high school.
Now, the team will see if he adjusts to sliding feet first.
"I love the energy," Redmond said. "He brings a spark to our team. He's a special kid. He gives us everything he's got every time out."