Raise your hands if you had this event written on your betting books.
Limbo drew first blood against the Marlins before the first pitch of the season was even thrown, as both Nathan Eovaldi and Henderson Álvarez went into the 15-day DL due to shoulder inflamation, crippling an already sub-par rotation even further.
Forced to use their “in case of emergency, break glass” card, the Fish called their best pitching prospect, José Fernández, to take the final spot -in case you were wondering, Alex Sanabia was recalled as well to fill the 4th slot-. Even though his 2012 numbers were video-game like (14-1 with a 1.75 ERA in 134 IP, with 35 BB and 158 SO), he has never pitched above Class A. In fact, he was supposed to start the year with Double-A Jacksonville, alongside other top prospects like Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick.
The hard-throwing Cuban, wearing number 16, will make his Major League debut on April 7th, against the New York Mets. Sanabia will start two days earlier, at most.
Don’t expect their big league spells to be too long. My bet is that as soon as Eovaldi and Álvarez recover, José and Alex will be demoted. If the former pitches exceptionally well during his first stint, he’ll probably stick in the rotation, with Kevin Slowey being the odd man out of the equation unless he accepts a bullpen role.