Fernandez, Cain, Moore return to mound

Fernandez, Cain, Moore return to mound

All-Star pitchers Matt Cain and Jose Fernandez will both return from extended stays on the disabled list and will make their season debuts in the same game, today at 12:10 p.m. ET in Miami. Fernandez, one of the game's bright young stars, will be coming back from a year spent on the sidelines due to Tommy John surgery.

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Fernandez, 22 years old, was named to an All-Star Game and won the National League's Rookie of the Year in his only complete season for Miami. He's 16-8 with a 2.25 ERA for his career, and he made just eight starts last year before injuring his elbow. Fernandez last pitched in the Majors on May 9, 2014.

Cain, a three-time All-Star, last pitched on July 9 of last season, and he wound up having operations to remove bone chips from his elbow and a bone spur from his right ankle. Cain was extremely durable prior to his twin injuries, and he'd made at least 30 starts in eight straight seasons for the Giants.

Here are a few other matchups and games to look forward to:

Moore debuts: CLE @ TB, 12:10 p.m. ET
The surgeons have been busy. Matt Moore, an All-Star who won 17 games for the Rays in 2013, returns to the mound Thursday after a 14-month layoff due to Tommy John surgery. Moore, 26, has gone 29-17 with a 3.53 ERA in his brief big-league career. He made just two starts last year.

And his return won't be a cakewalk. Moore will be matched against Corey Kluber, the reigning American League Cy Young Award-winner, in Thursday's game. Kluber leads the AL in losses (nine), but he's logged a 3.66 ERA and has 127 strikeouts against just 23 walks through his first 16 starts.

Kluber has gone five straight starts without a win, and he's given up home runs in each of his last three outings. The Indians, incredibly, are just 3-13 when Kluber starts this season. Last season, for contrast, Cleveland went 22-12 when Kluber pitched.

The deGrom effect: CHC @ NYM, 1:10 p.m. ET
Were you expecting a sophomore slump? Jacob deGrom, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year, has been even better in his second season, and he'll take the hill against the Cubs on Thursday. The 27-year-old has pitched to an 8-5 record and a 2.15 ERA in his first 15 starts this season.

But his recent trajectory is even better. deGrom has gone 5-1 with a 1.23 ERA in his last eight outings, and opponents are hitting just .160 against him in that span. The right-hander has 63 strikeouts and just six walks in his last 58 2/3 innings, but he has a 7.20 ERA in two career games against the Cubs.

The Cubs will go with Jake Arrieta, who has registered a 7-5 record and a 2.94 ERA in his first 15 outings. Arrieta has 103 strikeouts in his first 98 innings this season. The 29-year-old also delivered a stellar season for the Cubs last year, when he went 10-5 with a 2.53 ERA in 25 starts.

deGrom's dominant outing

Expecting perfection: WAS @ ATL, 7:10 p.m. ET
The Nationals' Max Scherzer is on a sensational run that has seen him take a perfect game through five innings in three straight starts. He has a no-hitter and a one-hit shutout to his credit in that span. Scherzer gave up two runs in his last start, but he's held the opposition to one earned run or fewer 10 times this season.

The right-hander has yet to log a start with more than two walks, but he's racked up at least 10 strikeouts in six of his 15 outings. Scherzer's ERA has never climbed above 2.13 this season, and over the last two months, he's gone 8-3 with a 1.98 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .178 average.

The Braves will counter with Manny Banuelos, who will be making his big-league debut. Banuelos was a highly-regarded prospect in the Yankees' organization, and Atlanta acquired him for a pair of relievers in January. Banuelos went 6-2 with a 2.29 ERA in 15 starts for Triple-A Gwinnett this year.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.