SAN FRANCISCO -- Julian Fernandez didn't want to succumb to Tommy John surgery this spring, but a couple of veteran teammates pulled him aside and helped him come to grips with the fact that it was the only way forward with his career. If that career is to include time in the big leagues, it won't be with the Giants.
Fernandez was claimed off waivers by the Miami Marlins, clearing a 40-man roster spot for the Giants, who need to add players Tuesday to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. That draft is where the Giants found Fernandez, who regularly throws triple-digits but remains extremely raw and has not pitched above A-ball. The Giants took Fernandez out of the Rockies' system at the Winter Meetings last December and he nearly made their Opening Day roster out of necessity; they would have had to put him on the roster to keep him.
Instead, after a shaky spring, Fernandez needed elbow reconstructive surgery. He missed the entire season, but the Giants thought enough of his arm to keep him on the 60-day DL. It was a bonanza for Fernandez, who earned a big league salary and got a year's worth of service time as he rehabbed.