Miami Pitcher Jose Fernandez Dies in Boating Accident

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Alex Nannetti and Kyle Hoeppner

In the morning hours of Sunday, September 25th, MLB pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident off the shores of Miami Beach, Florida.

Fernandez, the 24-year-old right hander, was a Cuban born pitcher who grew up in Tampa and was drafted 11th overall by the Miami Marlins in 2011. Fernandez signed with them in August of that year. On April 24, 2015 Fernandez became a US Citizen.

He made his MLB debut on April 7, 2013, and won Rookie of the Year that same year.

Following the news of his death, the Marlins cancelled their game that day against the Atlanta Braves.

Arrowhead senior Matt Brockish, an avid baseball fan, was upset to hear about Fernandez’s death.

“He was a great pitcher and very entertaining to watch,” says Brockish.

Fernandez was in a relationship with girlfriend Maria Arias and who is currently pregnant with his child.

Fernandez was in the race for the National League CY Young Award and was having a great season, pitching for the Marlins. Fernandez had a 6.2 Wins Above Replacement (WAR). WAR is used to summarize a player’s total contributions to their team in one statistic, and Fernandez was second overall in this statistic behind New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard.

Nothing is more crucial in pitching than strikeouts, and Fernandez did the job against batters this year. His 12.49 strikeouts per nine innings tops among all Major League starters this year and bordered on closing pitcher numbers.

Fernandez’s teammates held a special tribute the next day against the New York Mets where they left their hats and painted his number 16 on the pitching mound. All his teammates wore his number 16 and will continue to do so for the rest of the season. The Marlins plan to retire Fernandez’s number.

During this game, Miami Marlins second baseman, Dee Gordon stepped up to the plate. A lefty hitter, Gordon saw the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning as a right-handed hitter, which was his way of paying tribute to his deceased teammate. Gordon, who weighs 160 pounds and will never be confused with a power hitter, then switched to his normal left side and, on a 2-0 count, launched his first homer of the year. Gordon sent the ball flying into the upper deck at Marlins Park.

In an article written by Walter Villa of USA Today, Gordon said,“‘I ain’t never hit a ball that far, even in BP,’ said Gordon, who finished with a season-high four hits. ‘I told the boys, ‘If you all don’t believe in God, you better start.’ For that to happen today, we had some help.’”