Fernandez dominates 'mates in intrasquad tilt

Fernandez dominates 'mates in intrasquad tilt

JUPITER, Fla. -- Jose Fernandez was on the mound Wednesday morning, competing and having fun. For the opposing hitters in the intrasquad game, it wasn't such a pleasant experience.

Fernandez breezed through two scoreless innings on Field 2 at the Roger Dean Stadium complex, completely in command, striking out five while allowing just one opposite-field single.

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"I'm pretty happy," Fernandez said. "My fastball location was good. I felt great."

Fernandez passed the eye test as well. He threw 31 pitches, with his fastball topping out at 97 mph. Fernandez's heater was on point to both sides of the plate, and catcher Jeff Mathis barely had to move his glove.

Fernandez estimated he threw six changeups and three sliders, one of which struck out the left-handed-hitting J.T. Riddle with the count full.

"The biggest step is being out there, having fun and competing," Fernandez said. "You miss that a lot in the offseason. I'm just happy I get to do that again."

Dan Black, a left-handed hitter, collected the only hit Fernandez allowed.

Fernandez was scheduled to throw just two innings, and if need be, the Marlins were going to put a runner on base so the right-hander could work out of the stretch.

"Great swing, he got on base," Fernandez said of Black's hit. "We were going to put somebody on base if nobody was on. He made it easy for us."

The intrasquad game lasted 3 1/2 innings. Fernandez, Edwin Jackson and David Phelps each threw two frames, with Bryan Morris getting one inning.

The scariest part of the scrimmage came when Jackson, who also pitched two innings, plunked Robert Andino in the side of the head with a fastball. Andino, a non-roster invitee, took first base and stayed in the game.

"I'm good," Andino said. "My on-base percentage went up."

Fernandez is set to make his Grapefruit League debut on Monday against the Nationals in Viera, Fla. Since he is so high-energy, manager Don Mattingly is stressing to his ace not to try to overdo things -- especially early in Spring Training.

"He doesn't need to get ramped up," Mattingly said. "He's pretty emotional. Just keep him working. Keep his arm moving. He will be ready in plenty of time. He came into camp in really good shape."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.