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Marlins place Jose Fernandez on 15-day DL; team's ace is confident of return in 2015


MIAMI — Jose Fernandez has no intention of being shut down early for a second consecutive season.

Miami placed its ace right-hander on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday because of a right bicep strain, and even though the Marlins are far from the playoff race Fernandez doesn't see any reason why he can't return to the rotation in the coming weeks.

"As long as I'm healthy, I'm coming back," Fernandez said. "Our record, it doesn't matter to me. As long as I'm healthy and ready to go, I will come back."

Fernandez is 4-0 this season with a 2.30 ERA in seven starts. He didn't pitch until July while recovering from right elbow reconstruction surgery that was performed in May 2014.

Fernandez last pitched Friday at Atlanta, leaving after throwing 76 pitches in five innings. He returned to Miami the following day for examination after feeling some discomfort, and said he's relieved that there's no big issue. He said he's been pain-free for the last couple days, though was going to meet with doctors and trainers to try and determine what caused the problem.

"Everything happens for a reason," Fernandez said. "That's the way that I take things. It's trying to teach me a lesson and I'm going to learn from it. Everything in life happens for a reason. That's how I take my life."

The Marlins recalled left-hander Justin Nicolino to make Tuesday's start against the Boston Red Sox and take Fernandez's roster spot. Miami entered Tuesday with baseball's worst record, 44-68.

Marlins manager Dan Jennings said the team will let the doctors and trainers, along with Fernandez, determine when the time is right for the 23-year-old to return.

"We'll let this run its course and then see where he is and when he can resume throwing and then go from there," Jennings said. "No timetable. Just got to get him back to where he feels right, but mentally I think he's good. I think there's peace of mind knowing it's not anything more than tendinitis in that bicep tendon."

Jennings added that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (hand and wrist) is progressing toward a return "to baseball activities," but isn't ready to take batting practice yet. Stanton has been working in batting cages, Jennings said.

Stanton hasn't played since June 26 and still not only leads the Marlins by a wide margin with 27 home runs and 67 RBIs, but he still ranks among the NL leaders in both categories.

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