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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez is getting closer and closer to returning to the team’s rotation.

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Fernandez, who had Tommy John surgery just over a year ago, is progressing in his rehabilitation and is preparing to take another big step forward.

The Marlins have moved Fernandez’s rehab to their Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans, where the 22-year-old will make a start on Wednesday.

This will be the first time in his career that Fernandez plays at the Triple-A level.  He had never played higher than Single-A ball when the Marlins called him up in 2013.

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Fernandez is expected to throw in the range of 75-80 pitches on Wednesday, and if all goes well that number should increase before he makes his next start.

He will likely make two or three starts in New Orleans before joining the Marlins rotation again.

Fernandez made two rehab starts at the Single-A level before being called up to Triple-A.

His first start was a bit of a struggle but he looked more like his usual self in his second trip, tossing five shutout innings and striking out four batters while only issuing one walk.

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