Miami Marlins' starter Jose Fernandez will be placed on the disabled list with a right elbow sprain, as first reported by FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal. Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun-Sentinel reports that the Marlins expect that the injury will require season-ending surgery, but the prognosis will not be made definite until the results of two MRIs are reviewed in the next couple of days.
A "sprain" has to do with the ligament, meaning that Fernandez likely has at least a partial tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow. A tear of that nature would require eventual Tommy John surgery, with most pitchers opting to undergo the procedure immediately instead of trying to pitch through the injury.
If Fernandez does need surgery, he would be the latest on a long list of promising young pitchers who have gone under the knife so far this season. Baseball has already lost Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy (Braves), Matt Moore (Rays), A.J. Griffin and Jarrod Parker (Athletics), Cory Luebke and Josh Johnson (Padres), Ivan Nova (Yankees), Patrick Corbin (Diamondbacks) and many others to the surgery this year, but the loss of Fernandez would be the most notable so far.
Fernandez has been one of the best pitchers in baseball so far this season, posting a 4-2 record and 2.44 ERA in eight starts. The 21-year old has struck out 70 batters while walking only 13, continuing the dominance that won him the NL Rookie of the Year voting last season. In his absence, the Marlins will likely have to turn to Kevin Slowey or Brad Hand to take a spot in a solid rotation that includes the likes of Nathan Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez, Tom Koehler, and Jacob Turner