Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez has been voted the National League Pitcher of the Month for the month of April. This is his first career Pitcher of the Month Award following his two N.L. Rookie of the Month honors during the 2013 seasons (July and August).
In six outings during March/April, the reigning 2013 N.L. Rookie of the Year led baseball with 55 strikeouts while posting a 4-1 record. Fernandez was tied for third among N.L. pitchers in wins while his 1.59 ERA (7 ER/39.2 IP) was the fourth-lowest mark in the Senior Circuit. The 21-year-old also ranked fourth among qualifying pitchers (min: 28.0 innings) in average against, holding opponents to just a .174 mark as he scattered 25 hits over his 39.2 innings of work. The hard-throwing right-hander issued just eight free passes during last month's action, giving him a 6.88 strikeout-to-walk ratio, which was good for the League's sixth-best mark.
Fernandez, who was 3-0 with a 0.33 ERA (1 ER/27.2 IP) in four starts at Marlins Park last month, saw his home unbeaten streak run to 19 games, improving his lifetime mark to 12-0 in 19 career starts at home. The Villa Clara, Cuba native's streak set a Club record for consecutive home starts without a loss to begin a career. The home unbeaten streak is the second longest by a pitcher to start a career in the modern era, trailing only David Palmer's 21 (1979-84). On April 29th, Fernandez matched a career high for innings pitched, throwing 8.0 shutout frames while striking out eight and giving up just two hits in a 9-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves in what was the second of backto- back, home-and-home starts against the Braves. In his April 22nd outing at Turner Field, the All-Star hurler tied a career high with 14 strikeouts in 8.0 innings of work as the Fish won 1-0. The victory was the third of his career in which he fanned 10-or-more batters without issuing a walk, becoming the only pitcher in Marlins franchise history to have at least three such performances. Fernandez was named co-Player of the Week during the first week of the season after going 2-0 with 17 strikeouts and a 0.71 ERA (12.1 IP) in his first two starts of the 2014 campaign. The youngster became only the second pitcher to earn a win on Opening Day after being voted Rookie of the Year in the previous season. The only other pitcher to accomplish the feat was San Francisco's John Montefusco, who was the N.L. Rookie of the Year in 1975 and won the Giants' season opener in 1976. Fernandez also became the second pitcher to tally nine strikeouts while issuing no walks in an Opening Day start in the last 16 seasons, and is only the 10th to do so in Major League history. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitcher Jered Weaver was the last to do so on Opening Day 2012 (Elias Sports Bureau).
Other pitchers receiving votes included Adam Wainwright (5-1, 1.20 ERA, 42 SO, 45.0 IP) of the St. Louis Cardinals; Milwaukee Brewers reliever Francisco Rodriguez (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 13 SV, 23 SO, 16.0 IP); Cincinnati Reds starter Johnny Cueto (2-2, 1.15 ERA, 2 CG, SHO, 50 SO, 47.0 IP); Zack Greinke (5-0, 2.04 ERA, 46 SO, 35.1 IP) of the Los Angeles Dodgers; San Francisco reliever Jean Machi (4-0, 0.66 ERA, 10 G, 10 SO, 13.2 IP); and Atlanta Braves starter Aaron Harang (3-2, 2.97 ERA, 37 SO, 36.1 IP).
The National League Pitcher of the Month for April, Jose Fernandez, will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate his performance.