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NL East: Marlins aim to avoid controversy with Fernandez' innings limit

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NL East: Marlins aim to avoid controversy with Fernandez' innings limit

Just like the Nationals with Stephen Strasburg in 2012 and the Mets with Matt Harvey last season, the Miami Marlins will monitor ace Jose Fernandez' innings this year with the pitcher only being two summers removed from Tommy John surgery.

Add in the fact Fernandez is also represented by Scott Boras, and there are plenty of parallels. And much like the Mets with Harvey, the Marlins aim to avoid the backlash that can come with holding a pitcher back.

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald wrote this week that the Marlins hope to have a plan for Fernandez "that ensures there will be no late-season controversy, as there was last year with New York Mets hurler Matt Harvey."

The Nationals took plenty of criticism for their shutdown of Strasburg in 2012, so the Mets took a different path in 2015 hoping to steer clear of a similar situation. They were able to pitch Harvey in the postseason, but they still took heat from fans and the media for their handling of his workload.

The Marlins believe they can push Fernandez to 180 innings, but it could get interesting if Miami finds themselves in a pennant race, as the Nats and Mets did with their own post-Tommy John pitchers.

No one seems to have found the perfect solution yet. We'll see if they have better luck in the public forum than the Nats and the Mets did.

[RELATED: Nationals add another veteran reliever as spring begins]

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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USA TODAY Sports Images

Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.