Marlins to stay course with Jose timetable
Despite looking impressive in extended spring start, ace won't be activated until around July 1
MIAMI -- No matter how impressive Jose Fernandez is in his early rehab-assignment outings, the Marlins have no intention of speeding up his progression to the big leagues.
The right-hander dominated on Monday in an extended spring game, striking out seven, while not allowing a hit over 42 pitches. Miami's plan is to stay the course and reinstate the former National League Rookie of the Year around July 1.
"We're going to follow that to the tee and make sure he is built up and ready," manager Dan Jennings said. "We're looking sometime around July 1."
Initially, Miami had been using a window of June 15-July 15, or around the All-Star break.
Fernandez, who underwent Tommy John surgery on May 16, 2014, is slated to begin his rehab assignment on Saturday with Class A Advanced Jupiter at Port Charlotte, Fla.
The hard-throwing right-hander looked in midseason form in his extended spring outing, blazing a fastball clocked as high at 97 mph. How strong he looks raised the question of whether he is ready sooner rather than later.
If July 1 is his return date, it would be against the Giants at Marlins Park. The new window is more in the July 1-7 range.
"That's the plan," Jennings said.