JUPITER -- How excited is Jose Fernandez for his first spring training start?
"You don't even have to ask," is how Fernandez replied to Mike Redmond when the manager asked him that very question this morning.
Fernandez is scheduled to take the mound for the Marlins when they open their Grapefruit League schedule at 1:05 p.m. against the St. Louis Cardinals. Wearing a flourescent yellow tank-top T-shirt and carrying a bat, the reigning Rookie of the Year was full of energy Friday morning, bouncing around the clubhouse and yukking it up with teammates.
Redmond said he's encountered very few pitchers over the course of his pro career who act like Fernandez.
"Most pitchers don't say anything when they're pitching," Redmond said. "They sit at their locker, grumpy, focused. Even in spring training. I've only been around a few guys who are like him, where it just seems like another day. Like (Ryan) Dempster. Johan Santana. He liked to talk in the clubhouse. There were just a few. But (normally), the guy who's pitching, you just stay away from. So when you have guys who aren't like that, it probably sticks out way more because you're used to the opposite."
Redmond said Fernandez will likely pitch two innings today.
Others scheduled to pitch today for the Marlins: Tom Koehler, Chaz Roe, Mike Dunn, Dan Jennings, Chris Hatcher and Sam Dyson.
Though the new replay rules won't be in effect today, Redmond said the Marlins will test new replay procedures on their own. Because the game is being televised, Redmond said he'll be in communication with Cullen McRae -- the team's video coordinator -- throughout the game. If McRae sees a questionable call on the telecast, he'll relay that information to the Marlins dugout.
"If there's a bang-bang play, we'll sort of go through the protocol of how we do it, without making it a big deal of going out on the field (to protest to umpires)," Redmond said. "Every televised game we're going to do it, because we want to get as comfortable as we can with any type play that would come up, and C-Mac seeing the play and going through the communication process."
The replay system, including challenges, will be fully tested in spring games on March 13 and 16th.
One note: the replays fans see on television might not be the same ones each team will be provided once the system is up and running. Redmond said 12 different camera angles will be available to teams, and may not be the same ones being shown on local telecasts.
"There might be a play where they (broadcasters) see it and we don't, and vice versa, where we see it on our camera and they don't," Redmond said.
Redmond said reliever Henry Rodriguez has ironed out his visa issues in Venezuela and is expected to join the team Sunday. Pitcher Jesus Sanchez remains in Venezuela because of visa problems.
Cardinals: 1. Matt Carpenter, 3b; 2. Kolten Wong, 2b; 3. Allen Craig, rf; 4. Matt Adams, 1b; 5. Yadier Molina, dh; 6. Peter Bourjos, cf; 7. Shane Robinson, lf; 8. Tony Cruz, c; 9. Pete Kozma, ss. Pitching: Carlos Martinez.
Marlins: 1. Adeiny Hechavarria, ss; 2. Christian Yelich, lf; 3. Giancarlo Stanton, rf; 4. Garrett Jones, 1b; 5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia, c; 6. Casey McGehee, 3b; 7. Ty Wigginton, dh; 8. Brian Bogusevic, cf; 9. Ed Lucas, 2b. Pitching: Jose Fernandez.