MIAMI (AP) — While fun has been in short supply for the Miami Marlins, rookie right-hander Jose Fernandez is making their season more bearable.
The 20-year-old Cuban defector is 4-3, remarkable considering the rest of the pitching staff began the week a combined 17-44. Heading into Wednesday's start at Arizona, Fernandez ranks among the top three rookies in the majors in ERA (3.11) , strikeouts per inning (77 in 72 1-3) and opposing batting average (.210).
Such statistics are all the more impressive because he doesn't turn 21 until July 31. In his most recent outing, Fernandez became the first pitcher under 21 to strike out 10 or more since Felix Hernandez with Seattle in 2007.