Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez has been cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment.
Fernandez, who is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and has not pitched for the Marlins since May 2014, threw an extended spring training start on Monday. He threw 42 pitches and struck out seven in three innings, according to the Miami Herald.
The 22-year-old said he will start for Single A Jupiter on Saturday in his first official rehab assignment.
The Marlins said on Sunday that Fernandez could be ready to rejoin the team around July 1.
“I felt healthy and I felt like I belonged there on that mound,” Fernandez said after his extended spring training start. “It was fun to go back out there and compete. It was a real game to me—it wasn't just a rehab start. I was walking out and felt that game feeling inside my stomach. That's always great.”
In eight starts last year before undergoing surgery, Fernandez went 4–2 with a 2.44 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings.
Miami is 20–31 to start the season and in fourth place in the NL East.
- Molly Geary