WASHINGTON -- Owner Jeffrey Loria declined to harbor a guess on Monday’s attendance for the Marlins’ home opener.
“I’m not doing numbers anymore because everybody holds you to it,” Loria said.
Loria has been on hand for the Marlins’ first two games in D.C. and defended the on-field product following a turbulent offseason.
“It’s great baseball. It’s the beginning of a new era for us and it’s exciting,” Loria said.
“People will look back in two years from now and say, ‘They did the right thing.’ Period. Give these guys a chance. Give us a chance. Watch them mature because they’re quality.”
A couple of former big-leaguers, Marlins manager Mike Redmond and hitting coach Tino Martinez were no match for rookie hurler Jose Fernandez in a Tuesday tune-up.
The Marlins are hoping the New York Mets aren’t any more successful Sunday when the highly touted 20-year-old makes his major-league debut at Citi Field.
Redmond and Martinez stood in against Fernandez as he threw a 50-pitch simulated “game” on Tuesday’s off day at Nationals Park.
They didn’t have much luck.
“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.”
Redmond retired in 2010. Martinez last played in 2005.
Perhaps no one was more impressed with Fernandez than veteran catcher Miguel Olivo, who was behind the plate for Tuesday’s workout.
“I was surprised,” said Olivo, who only joined the team a few days ago and had not seen Fernandez pitch before.
“It’s amazing. When you see a 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.”
• 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 Sun opens its season 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 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-handed 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 St. Louis 3-1, gave up a home run on the first pitch he threw, walked a batter and then gave up another first-pitch home run.
Bell only lasted one-third of an inning, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk.
• Thursday: Marlins LHP Wade LeBlanc (2-5, 3.67 ERA in 2012) at Washington Nationals RHP Jordan Zimmermann (12-8, 2.94 in 2012), 4:05 p.m., Nationals Park.
• Friday: Marlins RHP Alex Sanabia (6-7, 4.06 at Triple A New Orleans in 2012) at New York Mets RHP Jeremy Hefner (4-7, 5.09 in 2012), 7:10 p.m., Citi Field.
• Scouting report: LeBlanc will be making his first career start against the Nationals. In 61 career starts, LeBlanc is 18-25 with a 4.43 ERA. Zimmermann has gone 1-3 with a 4.43 ERA in eight career starts against the Marlins. Giancarlo Stanton has only three hits in 13 at-bats against Zimmermann, but all three were home runs.