Jose Fernandez feeling good
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Jose Fernandez had trouble sleeping before his latest start.
"I (kept) waking up, waiting for the game," the NL Rookie of the Year said Wednesday. "I was excited I was throwing three innings. I haven't pitched that long in who knows when, but I'm feeling good. I'm enjoying it so far."
If he was sleep deprived, he certainly didn't show it. Fernandez allowed two hits and struck out two in 3 1-3 scoreless innings as the Miami Marlins beat a New York Mets split squad 5-2 in 10 innings.
Fernandez had not thrown more than two innings since pitching seven against Atlanta last Sept. 11.
Eric Young Jr. hit a leadoff single in the Mets against Fernandez before the NL Rookie of the Year retired the next nine batters.
His fastball was mostly at 97 mph and ticked up to 98 on a couple occasions.
"I'm not scared," Fernandez said. "People say, `Oh, you're throwing too hard.' I'm not scared. I'm working, that's what I'm working for -- to throw without effort."
Dillon Gee of the Mets made his Grapefruit League debut, allowing one earned run and four hits in 2 1-3 innings. After giving up three straight hits to start the second, including an RBI double by Reed Johnson, Gee got out a jam with runners on third and second with no outs.
"I'm not a power guy, so I can't just go out there and blow things by guys," Gee said. "I'm a feel guy. My mechanics are big. My timing is big. After taking four months off, it kind of takes a while to find that."
"Now, after throwing 199 innings last year, I try to take a little more time off and get that rest, instead of coming into spring training ready to go. Try to utilize spring training so I can make it a whole year again and make it 200-plus."
Marlins non-roster invitee Kevin Slowey threw 2 2-3 scoreless innings in relief of Fernandez. Slowey allowed one hit and struck out one. He has made one start and one relief appearance this spring and has yet to allow a run.
"We've talked about his versatility," manager Mike Redmond said. "He can start or be a long guy where he can throw whatever we need. That's his value. Whether it's three, four or five (innings). We saw it last year in New York when he gave us nine innings in a tie game. He's a guy who can do a little of both.
"The ball's coming out of his hand the same as I've seen it and his control is pinpoint. He's doing exactly what he needs to do."
Mets pitchers Jon Niese, Bartolo Colon and Bobby Parnell and third baseman David Wright will play during a workout that's somewhere between an intrasquad game and live batting practice. None of the four has played in a Grapefruit League game this spring.
Niese (shoulder) and Colon (calf) have been slowed by minor injuries this spring, while Parnell is coming back from surgery to repair a herniated disk in his neck. Wright has been held out of the first week of exhibition games because manager Terry Collins wants to limit the potential for injury.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press
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