MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez continues to make a strong push for National League Rookie of the Year honors by being named the NL Rookie of the Month for July.
Fernandez made five starts in July and finished the month with an impressive 3-1 record with a 2.06 ERA, lowest among qualified starting pitchers.
"I've watched this kid over the course of the year. I can't imagine there being a better rookie than him," said Marlins manager Mike Redmond to mlb.com.
The Marlins rookie has been improving all season, which should scare opposing batters. On July 28, Fernandez struck out 13 batters and didn't surrender a walk in eight innings of work against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Fernandez joined Gary Nolan, Dwight Gooden, and Kerry Wood as the only pitchers under the age of 21 to strike out at least 13 batters without a walk in a single game. He also made history by striking out Chris David and Dustin Pedroia in the All-Star Game, only Gooden and Hall of Famer Bob Feller have pulled off a similar feat.
"He's not afraid to be great," Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison told Marlins.com. "He loves the stage and really wants to be great. I know that's weird. ... He's a bulldog, dude, and I'm glad he's on my team."
Overall this season, Fernandez has an 8-5 record with a 2.54 ERA in 21 starts to go along with 138 strikeouts and just 43 walks. The rookie starter is also allowing opponents to hit just .190 against him and has surrendered just eight home runs in 127.2 innings pitched.
Combined with last year's minor league performance, Fernandez is 22-7 with a 2.28 ERA.
He's also making a case for the August rookie of the month honors. In his first August start against the Cleveland Indians, Fernandez struck out 14 batters over eight innings pitched. Over his last 68.1 innings pitched, the rookie has 78 strikeouts and a 5-2 record with a 5-2 record.
He's the ace Marlins fans have been longing for since Josh Beckett left town and Josh Johnson fell apart. Combining him with young pitching talent like Henderson Alvarez, Nathan Eovaldi, and Jacob Turner could give the Fish a rotation second-to-none in the National League.
In addition, if Giancarlo Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Jake Marisnick can get on the same page offensively, the Marlins could be very dangerous in 2014.
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