The Miami Marlins have begun discussions on an innings limit for ace Jose Fernandez, according to MLB.com.
The talks have thus far involved Fernandez's agent Scott Boras and Marlins general manager Michael Hill. While no number has been reported yet, any limit is likely going to complicate Fernandez's chances to pitch into October.
After missing almost 14 months due to Tommy John surgery, Fernandez returned to the mound in July. The right-hander quickly regained the form that captured him the Rookie of the Year award in 2013. Fernandez had his electric fastball to go along with an overpowering array of off-speed selections.
After about a month, Fernandez was shut down for a month due to a strained right biceps. The injury put a scare into the team, but the ace returned to make a few starts in September and looked strong. It was important for Fernandez and the team that he returned despite the team's dismal record.
Being careful with pitchers is a common trend in today's game, especially those who have undergone the famed arm procedure. Fernandez is still very young and has a long career ahead of him. The team, and his agent will both play it safe with that in mind.
While Miami at this point would be a long shot to make the playoffs, there is a chance that the team makes moves this off-season to bolster its roster. Should the Marlins reach September with a chance, the innings limit will surely come into play. One thing Miami could do during the season is skip some of Fernandez's starts to preserve innings.
With an innings limit for Fernandez in mind, the Marlins will need to seek reliable starters in the open market. The team has a depleted rotation as it is with Henderson Alvarez battling arm issues himself