Fernandez could start throwing program Oct. 1

Fernandez could start throwing program Oct. 1

MIAMI -- Months of being on no-throw status could be coming to an end for Marlins ace Jose Fernandez. The 22-year-old spent Thursday in Los Angeles being examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache to see if he will be cleared to begin his throwing program on Oct. 1.

Fernandez underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery on May 16, and his recovery is expected to be around 14 months. Miami manager Mike Redmond said he didn't have an exact timeline of the hard-throwing right-hander's return, but those around the team expect it to be around the 2015 All-Star Game.

"Jose is out seeing Dr. ElAttrache to see if he will be cleared to start his throwing program on Oct. 1," Redmond said Thursday afternoon. "That's exciting news. We'll see what the outcome of that is."

ElAttrache performed the surgery seven days after Fernandez made his last appearance of 2014, a five-inning, five-run performance at San Diego.

The 2013 National League Rookie of the Year, Fernandez has made just eight starts this season, posting a 4-2 record with a 2.44 ERA. He struck out 70 in 51 2/3 innings, which were the most in the National League at the time he went down.

As a rookie, Fernandez established himself as one of the top starters in the game. And he was hopeful of following up his first-year performance with a run at being a Cy Young Award winner.

He didn't get that chance after his ligament gave out.

Fernandez has been around the team in recent weeks. Often he would retrieve balls hit into the outfield during batting practice. But when he would throw the balls in, he would use his non-throwing, or left arm.

"Time-wise, he's right on schedule," Redmond said. "It's too tough to put a timeline on [his return to MLB games] right now. But this is really another step in getting him back on the field. I haven't talked to him, but I'm sure he's anxiously awaiting his clearances, so he can start playing catch. This is really the first step in getting him back on the field."

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