(SportsNetwork.com) - The worst-case scenario has become reality for the Miami Marlins, who nonetheless must trudge forward with the finale of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Young right-hander Anthony DeSclafani takes the mound to make his major-league debut in place of staff ace Jose Fernandez, whose 2014 season has been cut short thanks to what's been diagnosed as a ligament tear in his right elbow.
Team physician Lee Kaplan has suggested Fernandez undergo ligament-replacement surgery, which would end Fernandez's year at 4-2 with a 2.44 earned run average in eight starts.
"Pitching's a precious commodity and we've always tried to be very careful with it. So you try to err on the side of caution," said Michael Hill, the team's president. "We've done everything we've thought was the right thing, as to how we've handled him. It's just one of those things that happened."
DeSclafini began this season at Double-A Jacksonville and was 3-4 in eight starts with a 4.19 ERA.
"He's a guy that's done well in the minor leagues and we felt like he was probably the most ready to make the start," manager Mike Redmond said. "Out of all of our younger guys, he's probably a little more polished because he's a college guy and he's got a few more innings under his belt, as far as experience. There's no doubt that losing Jose is a big blow, but it's also an opportunity for guys to step up and show what they can do."
Lefty Paul Maholm gets the ball for the Dodgers after taking a 3-1 loss to San Francisco in his most recent start on Friday, when he was nicked for three runs in 5 2/3 innings.
He's now 1-3 in four starts at Dodger Stadium this season with a 5.73 ERA.
Still, he's been successful against the Marlins, winning three of four decisions over his last six starts against them while posting a 2.33 ERA.
Miami is the worst team in the major leagues on the road thus far in 2014, winning just three of 18 games.
On Tuesday, Hanley Ramirez delivered a two-run double in a five-run sixth inning and the Dodgers took down the Marlins, 7-1.
Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp each knocked in a run for the Dodgers.
Josh Beckett (1-1) was superb over 6 1/3 innings, allowing one unearned run on four hits while striking out six.
Miami starter Jacob Turner (0-1) was saddled with the loss after going 5 1/3 frames and giving up five runs -- four earned -- on eight hits. Marcell Ozuna had the lone RBI for the Marlins.