Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Alonso's Fernandez to debut with Marlins

TAMPA — Jose Fernandez got the call last week.

Then Landy Faedo did, too.

"He called me before it was written to tell me," the Alonso High School baseball coach said. "He sounded calm, like this was just something he's been working for. Like this was just part of the plan."

This afternoon at Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y., Fernandez — one of the best pitchers in Tampa Bay high school history — will make his major-league debut with the Marlins at the age of 20, a mere 684 days after leading Alonso to a state championship.

Faedo planned to fly out Saturday to New York, thrilled about the opportunity to watch the first major-leaguer his Ravens baseball program has ever produced. He described it all as "movie stuff."

Fernandez, drafted with the 14th overall pick in 2011, was added to Miami's roster last week, a surprise to many because of his youth and lack of pro experience (just one full year in Class A ball).

But it's no surprise to Faedo, who helped coach and nurture Fernandez after the big right-hander fled Cuba and arrived at Alonso in 2008.

"I don't think the Marlins are doing anything out of desperation," Faedo said. "They are bringing up someone who has big-league stuff. He's never been considered a project."

The Marlins had planned to put Fernandez on an innings count this season in the minors, and that 170 innings or so limit will be in effect if he stays with the big club all season.

"We understand the asset we have, the value of him, his age, and we're going to do whatever we can do to do things in his best interest," Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest told the Palm Beach Post. "We think he is ready to do it. He just demonstrated everything from maturity to physical strength to the quality of pitches that he can do it."

Friday was the fifth anniversary of the day Fernandez arrived in America and began his sterling prep career. He won the state championship game as a sophomore in 2009 with a complete-game effort. And he was the Tampa Bay Times' All-Suncoast player of the year in 2011, when he went 13-1 with 134 strikeouts in 93 innings. He also hit nine home runs, leading the Ravens to their second state title in three seasons.

Fernandez was the highest-drafted Hillsborough County player in 14 years.

A 6-foot-2, 220-pounder, Fernandez was 30-3 in high school and tore through the minors last season (14-1, 1.75 ERA in 25 games).

And good news for local fans: Everyone can watch. Fox Sports Florida is carrying the 1 p.m. game, and the MLB Extra Innings package is free for the first week of the season, so the game can be found on most cable systems.

"I'm blessed,'' he said. "I've got an amazing opportunity to be here and show what I do."

John C. Cotey can be reached at or on Twitter @JohnnyHomeTeam.

Alonso's Fernandez to debut with Marlins 04/06/13 [Last modified: Saturday, April 6, 2013 10:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. LSU's Paul Mainieri defends FSU's Mike Martin; Gators play Friday


    OMAHA, Neb. — LSU coach Paul Mainieri says whether Florida State's Mike Martin ever wins a national championship should have no bearing on how his long career in college baseball is judged.

    MADE IT: TCU’s Josh Watson beats the tag of Louisville catcher Colby Fitch during Thursday’s late College World Series game.
  2. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick Friday night in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  3. Lightning GM Steve Yzerman also has top-9 wing on his wish list

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Much has been made about the Lightning's interest in bolstering its blue line, even after last week's acquisition of defense prospect Mikhail Sergachev.

    Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman gestures as he speaks to the media about recent trades during a news conference before an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes Wednesday, March 1, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. The Lightning, over the past few days, have traded goaltender Ben Bishop to the Los Angeles Kings, forward Brian Boyle to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Valtteri Filppula to the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara) TPA101
  4. Peter Budaj loves 'vibe' with Lightning


    Two years ago, nobody was willing to give Peter Budaj a shot, the veteran goalie wondering if he'd ever play in the NHL again.

    Peter Budaj signed a two-year extension with the Lightning, worth $1.025 million per year.