Tucson Outfielder Bob Pate, a righthanded batter who smoked a Fernandez fastball out of the park on a line, said, "I had no trouble seeing him, but you have to lay off that thigh-high fastball. It rises a foot."
"You've got to remember the park. He just needs to pitch, is all," said Stephenson. Fernandez does have trouble pitching out of the stretch. His windup is protracted, so the pause of the stretch and the annoyance of runners constrict him. He also has difficulty controlling the curve at these times (see c).
"Sometimes he drops his elbow and the ball will fly on him," says Strom. "With his leg action, he's similar to Koufax. I hope they don't rush him." Would a trip to L.A. this year be rushing him? "I think so."
"I know I can't strike everybody out," says Fernandez. "What makes me nervous is when everyone thinks I'm Superman. I'm aggressive. I never want to leave a game. I'll throw 'em fastballs. But I'm human."
Is he prepared for what can happen to a lefthanded/flamethrowing/innocent/manchild/folk hero/pop celebrity in the majors (see b)? "I know, I know," he says. "I think I could handle it. I sure would like to try."
When he does, don't pity the other Dukes. They'll be along shortly.