MIAMI -- For now, Jose Fernandez is scheduled to start Sunday in the series finale with the Braves at Marlins Park. But that outing is subject to change, depending on how the club is trending in the Wild Card standings.
Manager Don Mattingly said on Wednesday as long as there is postseason hope, Fernandez will remain in the rotation. If they are either eliminated or on the brink of being eliminated by Sunday, then he could be shut down.
But as of Wednesday, Fernandez is lined up to make the start. After that, he could make one final start at Washington over the final weekend of the regular season.
"I can tell you right now, if we're eliminated by the time that one might come up, he would not pitch," Mattingly said. "He would not pitch the last one, if that's the case. He might want to pitch, but he won't pitch."
The way Fernandez dominated on Tuesday in a 1-0 win over the Nationals makes the Marlins want to see at least one more outing.
In eight brilliant innings, the hard-throwing right-hander allowed three hits, no walks and struck out 12. He had a stretch of retiring 21 straight.
Fernandez improved to 16-8 with a 2.86 ERA and 253 strikeouts in 29 starts.
Asked if he expects to pitch again this year, Fernandez said: "I'm not the manager. I'll come in here [Wednesday] and I'll cheer my teammates, and I'll be ready to go if I have to go, and I understand that whatever happens it's not my call."
In his first full season back from Tommy John surgery, performed in May 2014, Fernandez has been following an innings plan that projected to get him about 180 on the season. He's now at 182 1/3 innings.
With one more start, he could push that number to around 190.
Fernandez is winding down one of the most impressive seasons in Marlins history. His 16 wins are the most by a Marlins starter since Dontrelle Willis won a club-record 22 in 2005.
Fernandez ranks fifth in the National League in wins, second in strikeouts and eighth in ERA. His 12.49 strikeouts per nine innings are the best in the Majors, and he's also first in strikeouts per batters faced -- .343 percentage.
• Adam Conley threw 35 pitches in a simulated game on Wednesday afternoon at Marlins Park. The left-hander has been on the disabled list since Aug. 14 with tendinitis in his left middle finger. Mattingly said the club will now evaluate when Conley will be reinstated. Even though he's a starter, Conley is expected to be used out of the bullpen when he is activated.
• Giancarlo Stanton, who started in right field on Monday and Tuesday and homered in each game, was out of the starting lineup on Wednesday upon the advice of the medical staff. Stanton is recovering from a Grade 3 left groin strain that landed him on the DL from Aug. 14-Sept. 6, and he is being eased into game shape. He was available to pinch-hit.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. 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.