5/14/2014 2:08 A.M. ET
Marlins join clubs affected by elbow injuries
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- The season has not yet reached the June 5 First-Year Player Draft, and already Major League Baseball has seen a number of its highly talented pitchers go down to serious elbow injuries.
The Marlins are the latest, with Jose Fernandez being placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow sprain.
Several high-quality pitchers have undergone Tommy John surgery this season, including Jarrod Parker (A's), A.J. Griffin (A's), Matt Moore (Rays), Patrick Corbin (D-backs) and Kris Medlen (Braves), to name a few.
The Marlins took so many precautions to protect Fernandez since he was promoted from Class A to the big leagues in 2013. The 21-year-old was on a strict pitch limit as a rookie, being shut down after 172 1/3 innings.
This season, Fernandez was given some extra days between starts whenever possible.
As the industry is continously reminded, no one is immune from potential injury.
As an organization, the Marlins take every step at every level to properly develop pitchers. They're on strict throwing programs, and go throuh progressions.
In Fernandez's case, he has a clean, smooth delivery. Some contend he throws too many breaking pitches, and there is probably some merit to that. He's thrown fastballs 52 percent of the time this season, and the rest of his pitches are either a slider, curveball or change.
Still, that doesn't explain everything. Why so many injuries?
"I'd have to say it is partially the nature of pitching," Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill said. "As an industry, I know we all are very cautious and protective of our pitching. We just have to be with the number of injuries that are out there. But even when you are cautious and protective, things happen that you just chalk up to being part of the game. It's unfortunate. I'm not sure what the answer is, but we'll continue to be protective of our pitching and develop it in a smart, sensible way, and hopefully try to avoid injuries, if you can."
Scott Boras, Fernandez's agent, raises the point that some injuries are a result of young pitchers not yet knowing how to harness their overpowering stuff. Boras has seen it firsthand in recent years with some of his clients. Stephen Strasburg and Matt Harvey each have had Tommy John surgery.
"You have elite talent," Boras said. "You have the ability to do things beyond the levels of your durability, because your talent is so high. A veteran pitcher knows the boundaries of that."
Younger pitchers may try to amp their fastballs up higher, or snap off that perfect slider.
A veteran, on the other hand, may know how to not press the pedal too hard.
"They know when they have the big engines, they also have the steering wheels of experience to go with it," Boras said. "The young pitchers don't have that."
Yelich: Homer at Dodger Stadium 'surreal' moment
LOS ANGELES -- Rounding the bases on Monday night, Christian Yelich couldn't help but chuckle to himself.
A California native who grew up a Dodgers fan, Yelich happened to hit a home run in the first big league game he played at storied Dodger Stadium.
Yelich had a big night in a game the Marlins lost, 6-5. To lead off the game, he lined a single to right.
But it was the home run that was really a crowning moment, because his mother was at the game, as were other family members and friends. In all, the 22-year-old Miami left fielder estimates 150 to 200 people close to him were at the park.
"I was running around the bases thinking, 'Did that really just happen -- in front of those people?'" Yelich said. "It was kind of nice to get the first one out of the way and settle into the game, and relax. Obviously, when you come back home, there's lots of distractions -- people wanting to see you."
As a kid growing up in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Yelich attended more games than he can remember at Dodger Stadium. He was on hand when Eric Gagne had his consecutive-saves record snapped.
One of his favorite players was Shawn Green, who Yelich has been compared to.
"I don't even know how many games I've come to at this stadium," he said. "It's a lot. I've come to a lot of games with the same people who were in the stands last night. So to be able to [homer] was a surreal feeling.
"It was a cool night. Unfortunately, we couldn't get the win. But it's something I'm going to remember for a long time."
• The Marlins made a slight change to their batting order Tuesday. Adeiny Hechavarria flipped spots with Derek Dietrich. Hechavarria moved up to second, while Dietrich moved into the eighth spot. The move was done to shake things up a little bit, and give Redmond some flexibility in case he has to make a double-switch. Miami's starters have struggled going deep into games of late, which means Redmond has had to make some double-switch moves. The team has some right-handed-hitting second-base options that could fill in for Dietrich.
• Following Tuesday's 7-1 loss to the Dodgers, the Marlins announced they had designated reliever Henry Rodriguez, and lefty Dan Jennings was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans. The team on Wednesday will select the contract of Anthony DeSclafani. The right-hander is being called up from Double-A Jacksonville, and he will start the series finale. The club also plans to add another pitcher, who has yet to be announced, on Wednesday.