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Jose Fernandez to Start for Triple-A New Orleans; Will Return July 2nd


We are another step closer to seeing one of the most dynamic pitchers back in the major leagues, and we now have a return date.

After two starts with High-A Jupiter, Marlins ace Jose Fernandez will be joining the Triple-A New Orleans Zephyrs, making his first start with the team on Wednesday. Appearing on the team's TV broadcast during Monday's 2-1 win over the New York Yankees, Fernandez said he is scheduled to return to the rotation July 2 at Marlins Park against the San Francisco Giants. Triple-A is the next stop for Fernandez as he works his way back from last May's Tommy John surgery. He will likely make two or three starts in Triple-A before making his long awaited 2015 debut.

After being hit for five runs on eight hits in just three innings in his first rehab start, Fernandez rebounded by giving up just two hits in five scoreless innings on Friday, prompting the promotion to Triple-A. Speaking to the Miami Herald, Marlins manager Dan Jennings said of Fernandez's recent outing "I think that was a mental hurdle for him to crawl over." Jennings had previously said they would not rush Fernandez back to the majors if it meant risking the long-term health of their 22-year-old ace, who they have under team control until 2019.

Surprisingly, Fernandez is still available in 17% of Yahoo Fantasy Baseball leagues. With just a couple of weeks left until his return, Fernandez should be owned in 100% of leagues. For the 83% of owners who likely drafted him and stashed him on the DL, they should be eagerly waiting to activate him once he is recalled to the majors. With a career 2.25 ERA and 10.31 K/9 rate, the 2013 NL Rookie of the Year should be back to his elite form once he brings his talents back to South Beach.