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Report: Fernandez has significant UCL tear, surgery recommended

LOS ANGELES -- CBSsports.com's Jon Heyman is reporting that Jose Fernandez has a significant tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and Tommy John surgery was recommended by the first doctor to examine him -- Neal ElAttrache, the Dodgers' team physician.

But the Marlins are waiting to hear the results of a second exam that was expected to take place today in Miami by the Marlins' team doctor, Lee Kaplan, before deciding which direction to go with Fernandez.

On a positive note, Heyman also reported that Fernandez's elbow is in otherwise "pristine" condition, improving his chances of a successful return if he undergoes surgery. But if surgery proves to be the case, the earliest Fernandez could be expected to pitch again for the Marlins would be sometime next season.

Meanwhile, the Marlins need someone to take Fernandez's start on Wednesday against the Dodgers and they might be forced to dip into their minor-league system for that person. Kevin Slowey threw 46 pitches in San Diego on Sunday while Brad Hand was used last night in relief, all but eliminating either of those two as possibilities.

Anthony DeSclafani is one possible call-up candidate. His start on Saturday for Double A Jacksonville was cut short after one inning by rain. Andrew Heaney went six innings on Sunday for Jacksonville and is likely not being considered.

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Henry Rodriguez walked four batters in only two-thirds inning last night in what was only his second outing with the Marlins since being called up from the minors.

Only four pitchers since 1914 who have logged as many as 150 innings in their careers have averaged more than 6 walks and 9 strikeouts per nine innings. They are: Rodriguez (6.41 BB/9 and 9.04 K/9), Doug Creek (6.19 BB/9 and 9.08 K/9), Mark Clear (6.2 BB/9 and 9.00 K/9) and Carlos Marmol (6.16 BB/9 and 11.60 K/9).

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