Fernandez begins throwing program

Fernandez begins throwing program

MIAMI -- The first step in Jose Fernandez's throwing program is underway. The 22-year-old Marlins ace made 25 throws from 30 feet on Wednesday at Marlins Park.

The light tosses were Fernandez's first throws since he underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in mid-May. The projected return to big league action for the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year is around July 2015.

Fernandez entered 2014 as a frontrunner to contend for the NL Cy Young Award. But the hard-throwing right-hander made just eight starts before he experienced pain in his throwing elbow during a May 9 start at San Diego.

Tests revealed a ligament tear that required season-ending surgery, which he underwent a week later in Los Angeles.

In eight starts, Fernandez was 4-2 with a 2.44 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings.

Fernandez said he "felt great" after the session.

Fernandez will spend the offseason building up his throwing. He isn't expected to pitch off the mound until sometime early next year.

Recommended recovery time is 14 months, which would make a return around the All-Star Game a realistic time frame.

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.