WASHINGTON -- Five days before he faces major league hitters for the first time, Jose Fernandez impressed a couple of former players with his stuff when he threw a 50-pitch simulation game at Nationals Park.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond and hitting coach Tino Martinez stood in the box against Fernandez, who got in his final work before his major league debut Sunday at Citi Field in New York.
"I didn't get any hits," Redmond said. "It took me three at bats before I made contact. But I figured that was pretty good since I hadn't had an at bat in three years."
Perhaps no one was more impressed with Fernandez than veteran catcher Miguel Olivo, who was behind the plate for Tuesday's mound workout.
"I was surprised," said Olivo, who only joined the team a few days ago and hadn't seen Fernandez in person, much less catch the 20-year-old hurler. "It's amazing. When you see a young kid like that, 20 years old, and he has the control that he has, and the look on the mound like he's been in the league for five years. It was amazing."
With left-hander Gio Gonzalez taking the mound tonight for the Nationals, Olivo will be making his first start for the Marlins since the end of the 2007 season. Justin Ruggiano is in center.
Marlins: 1. Juan Pierre, lf; 2. Donovan Solano, 2b; 3. Giancarlo Stanton, rf; 4. Placido Polanco, 3b; 5. Justin Ruggiano, cf; 6. Miguel Olivo, c; 7. Casey Kotchman, 1b; 8. Adeiny Hechavarria, ss; 9. Kevin Slowey, p.
Nationals: 1. Denard Span, cf; 2. Jayson Werth, rf; 3. Bryce Harper, lf; 4. Ryan Zimmerman, 3b; 5. Adam LaRoche, 1b; 6. Ian Desmond, ss; 7. Danny Espinosa, 2b; 8. Kurt Suzuki, c; 9. Gio Gonzalez, p.
Umpires: HP Eric Cooper; 1B Paul Schreiber; 2B Chad Fairchild; 3B Jeff Kellogg (cc)
The much-celebrated trio of outfielders for Double A Jacksonville -- Christian Yelich, Jake Marisnick and Marcell Ozuna -- are all starting the season on the disabled list. The Suns' season-opener is Thursday.
Yelich has a stone bruise on his left heel, Marisnick is dealing with a broken hand and Ozuna has a fractured left wrist.
Yelich isn’t expected to miss much time.
Gorkys Hernandez, Zack Cox and Scott Maine have all cleared waivers and were outrighted to Triple A New Orleans. But the Detroit Tigers claimed one of the other four players the Marlins designated for assignment -- right-pitcher Evan Reed -- on Wednesday.
The four players were designated to make room for additions to the 40-man roster.
Heath Bell’s debut with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday was reminiscent of many of his outings last season with the Marlins. Bell, who entered in the seventh inning with Arizona trailing 3-1 to St. Louis, gave up a home run on the first pitch he threw, walked a batter, and then gave up another first-pitch home run.
All told, Bell went one-third inning, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk.