Last season the Washington Nationals made big news by placing an innings limit on superstar starter Stephen Strasburg. Some agreed and some thought it was a terrible thing to do. While the Miami Marlins fans might not really have had an opinion on that innings limit, they very well might have something to say about the limit being placed on breakout star Jose Fernandez. Reportedly the Marlins are placing a limit of 150 to 170 innings on the young pitcher. I think it is a very good choice.
Fernandez is a different case than Strasburg was. The issue with him is the same thing that makes him such a great storyline. Not only did he log just 134 innings during the 2012 season, he only had 138 – 1/3 total minor league innings. Fernandez already has over 100 innings over the first half of the season so there is little doubt that he will reach the limit well before the end of the season. Though the move will take one of the best players from the Marlins roster this season, it could very well save Fernandez’s next few seasons if not career.
To go from just under 140 innings total to pitching close to or over 200 would be threatening career suicide for Fernandez. The Marlins aren’t going to really compete a ton with anyone this season anyway so there really is no good reason to allow him to possibly overtax his elbow for a season that will not largely matter in the end. Though I might have gone back and forth on the Strasburg innings limit, I’m squarely for the limit on Fernandez. It is the right decision at the right time without a doubt.