UPDATE: 5/16 6:30pm
An official end to the 2014 season came today for Marlins' ace pitcher Jose Fernandez. Tommy John surgery was successfully performed by the Dodgers' team physician Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.
The Marlins released this statement this evening:
Fernandez's attorney, Ralpf Fernandez, released this statement:
Today surgery was performed on Jose Fernandez. All indications are that it was successful.
Many have followed this story closely offering their prayers and support. Much has been written and broadcast. In order to reduce speculation, some of the underlying facts that brought us to this juncture are worthy of explanation.
Jose did not have a pre-existing condition. While pitching during the recent Dodgers game in Miami he was struck by a ball on his rear thigh. This prompted a completely unanticipated change in delivery which neither the staff nor his coaches could discern. After the game we spoke as we always do. Jose was concerned about his arm. Despite many exchanges on the subject in the days that followed he felt that with the Marlins Get your Marlins Tickets now! regaining first place in the division he could not let his team down. Apparently the injury was worse than he believed. In San Diego in the third ending he suffered a traumatic event, tossed a couple of more innings and the rest is history.
A pitch speed analysis was published reflecting a decrease in speed in the last few games.
The analysis did not take into account that by design after a victory in Atlanta, facing Atlanta five days later warranted nearly forty off speed pitches. A similar pattern followed in the early innings of the next game. Thus the reduction in average speed but not due to injury.
Many people, including some very close to Jose, have expressed opinions about the merits
of surgery. Frustration has run high. One of the practical factors that we considered in reaching the decision that he follow the consensus in medical advice was the absolute agreement between Jeffrey Loria, owner of the Marlins, and Scott Boras, Jose’s agent. Their agreement on anything Jose, from a legal and practical perspective, creates an irrefutable presumption that this was the proper course.
I also consulted with Luis Crespo, M.D., a medical adviser to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and
trusted close friend. All of this information was shared with Jose and his mother Maritza. In the last week the contact has been constant. Jose has not taken this lightly.
All of us should look forward to the same dynamic and engaging personality, the contagious smile, a team and community leader on and off the field, and a courageous young man coming back soon. The only difference may well be the young fireballer’s acquisition of a bionic arm.