"It felt really great," Fernandez said. "Finally facing the hitters, I'm excited. It felt really fantastic. It felt where I belong.
"It's a big step in the process, facing hitters, and hopefully that's what I'll be doing soon."
When asked about his timetable on Wednesday, Fernandez refused to speculate when he'll make his season debut.
"Everything depends on [Thursday] and three days after that. That's the approach that I'm taking," Fernandez said, per MLB.com. "I don't want to go crazy and start thinking about a day because it's going to change. I don't want to disappoint myself. ... I feel fantastic. Knocking on wood right now. I feel like I haven't left the game. I do what my doctor says. I've just got to follow a plan, follow the rules the way that I have to."
Fernandez has been out since May 2014 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
He is expected to return to the Marlins by late June or early July.
Fernandez was on the 15-day DL with an elbow injury and expected to be out until June. The move to the 60-day gives the Marlins a spot on the 40-man roster to add LHP
"I feel like I can pick up where I left off and feel exactly the same way," Fernandez said. "But I don't want to get my hopes up. A lot of things could happen."
Fernandez is rehabbing from Tommy John surgery and should begin facing hitters in late April. He is 11 months from a procedure he believes should not be done for the purpose of improving a pitcher's performance.
"You'd be surprised how many times I've heard that from kids," Fernandez said. "They say, 'Oh, I want to get Tommy John, because then I'm going to throw harder.' Let me tell you something, kid. It's not magic. Otherwise, everybody would do it. It's really complicated and really tough and you have to be really disciplined."
Though he's still a couple of months away from returning to the mound,
Speaking to reporters, via the Miami Herald, on Monday, Fernandez said he believes the Marlins have what it takes to win a championship this season.
"I think this team is amazing. I honestly think we can win the World Series -- honestly," Fernandez said.
Fernandez had Tommy John surgery 11 months ago and has a couple more months to go in the rehab process. The Marlins open their season with a series against the Braves.
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