Marlins, Boras discuss Fernandez's workload

Club, agent and doctors involved in maintaining right-hander's health

Marlins, Boras discuss Fernandez's workload

MIAMI -- The Marlins recently reached out to agent Scott Boras, and part of the conversation addressed an innings plan for Jose Fernandez, a source told MLB.com. During the call, the two sides talked about how best to use the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year in the upcoming season.

There had been questions about whether the team and Fernandez's camp would be on the same page after some back-and-forth comments between the club and Boras.

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Miami president David Samson recently said the team would not consult directly about Fernandez's innings with Boras. But Fernandez is one of three current Marlins represented by the California-based agent. The other two are right-handed pitcher Jarred Cosart and outfielder Marcell Ozuna, so the team periodically has conversations with Boras regarding more than Fernandez.

Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill took the lead in making sure the team and Boras were on the same page regarding Fernandez.

At a team charity event last Friday at Marlins Park, Fernandez addressed Boras' role in determining his throwing program and innings for the upcoming season.

"I do not know what all this is all about, but Scott Boras will be there because he's my agent, and I get to decide who is going to be on my phone calls," Fernandez said Friday. "It's that simple."

Fernandez underwent Tommy John surgery on May 16, 2014, and he missed nearly 14 months before returning on July 2. The hard-throwing right-hander also missed another month, from Aug. 11 to Sept. 12, because of strained right biceps.

In 11 starts in '15, Fernandez was 6-1 with a 2.92 ERA over 64 2/3 innings.

Doctors also will have a large say in determining the number of innings -- perhaps in the 160-180 range -- Fernandez will throw. Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who performed the Tommy John surgery, and Marlins physician Dr. Lee Kaplan will be part of the process.

In the past, most of the Marlins' dealings with Boras had been handled by Dan Jennings, the club's former general manager and manager. Now that Jennings is no longer with the organization, Hill took the first step in opening dialogue with the high-profile agent.

There also has been speculation the Marlins are opening to trading Fernandez. But numerous sources tell MLB.com the club intends to retain its young ace, who is not eligible for free agency until after the 2018 season.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.