Marlins promote top prospect Jose Fernandez

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Miami has slotted the 20-year-old right-hander into the No. 5 slot in its Opening Day rotation.

In a surprise move, the Miami Marlins have purchased the contract of top prospect Jose Fernandez and placed him in their Opening Day rotation, reports Joe Frisaro of MLB.com.

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He will make his MLB debut on Sunday, Apr. 7, at Citi Field against the Mets.

Just 20 years old, Fernandez is ranked by Baseball America as the No. 5 prospect in the game. It was thought that the young right-hander would begin the year in either Double-A or Triple-A, but shoulder injuries to Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Alvarez--who are both now on the 15-day DL--have called for a slight change of plans.

Fernandez is now slotted into the No. 5 spot in the Marlins' rotation though he doesn't have a day's worth of regular-season experience above High-A ball. The right-hander absolutely dominated minor-league hitters at Low- and High-A ball last year, posting a 1.75 ERA, 10.6 K/9, and 2.4 BB/9 in 134 innings, so it's not hard to see why everyone is so high on Fernandez, but High-A to the majors is a rather large leap.

Frisaro reports the the Cuban prospect will be on an innings and pitch-count limit in light of his age and lack of professional innings. Team president Larry Beinfest stated that the frames limit will be between 150-170 innings, but didn't give a pitch-count number.

In addition to Fernandez, the Marlins also purchased the contracts of Austin Kearns, Casey Kotchman, John Maine, Chad Qualls, Kevin Slowey, and Chris Valaika.

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