Pedro Pitches 5.1 Innings in Simulated Game

Nearly 10 months after having rotator cuff surgery on his right arm, Pedro Martinez threw a simulated game to Mets minor leaguers. He would have pitched in a real game had it not been for a rainout last night.

Pedro gave up 4 hits with 2 runs allowed and one earned. He was expected to throw about 45 pitches, but he felt so great that he threw 67 pitches, 50 for strikes. Early in the game he gave up some hits, but later settled in.

“Toward the end I felt better than starting the game, and that means I need work

Mets GM Omar Minaya, who was there and watched it all, had to say the following:

“Really, I thought the encouraging part for me was the back of those innings,” Minaya said. “The back of those innings when he was throwing the fastball down and away with the movement, that’s Pedro.”

Most of Martinez’s fastballs were from 86-88 mph, Minaya said. Nobody should really look at velocity right now, since he’s not focusing on that yet. Probably within the next couple weeks he will gain speed on his fastballs, hopefully sustaining an average speed of about 91 or 92 miles per hour, if not better.

After enduring a workout BEFORE the whole game took place, Pedro wasn’t sure what kind of results he would get, especially with the scorching-hot 93 degree weather in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Pedro had three strikeouts in the game, all coming in the later innings.

“After the third inning, they told me, ‘You’re going one more.’ And then the fourth, ‘You’re going one more.’ And I continued feeling better and better,” Martinez said. “That really told me that all of the work that we needed to do for my arm strength and [to] strengthen my body has paid off so far.”

The Mets told Pedro to throw the last two fastballs his best.

“I could tell the kids were a little behind,â€? Martínez said. “They were fouling the ball off in the opposite direction. It felt good to put a little extra on it.â€?

Martinez is expected to make another start, an official Minor League Start, in which he will then be “on the clock” as people call it, and by MLB Rules, he’ll have 30 days to make minor league rehab starts before being added to the Mets 25-man Roster. The start will most likely be in Port St. Lucie Florida. Following that start he may head to AA Binghamton, followed by AAA New Orleans, or just skip ahead to AAA New Orleans, then join the Major League team following that start. I have heard reports that he most likely won’t have to use the full 30 days that he gets to get back to the Major Leagues.

The Mets are playing this whole situation out as if Martinez will not be able to return this year, just so that if he doesn’t, everything will work out smoothly. As GM Omar Minaya has said all along, anything Martinez gives the Mets this year is “extra.”

Pedro Martinez, who won the World Series in 2004, did not get a chance last year to get back to the postseason and join the Mets in their trip to the NLCS. If he did get a chance to, he probably could have helped the Mets win a game in the NLCS late in the series. This season though, he has that chance. He will be nearly full rested and should have no problem pitching effectively. If the Mets didn’t have patience and didn’t slow this whole process down, they definitley could have had a problem with him pitching in the postseason. Obviously, for him to pitch in the postseason, the Mets need to get there first. The Mets have a close race going in the NL East, as they have a 4 game lead over the Braves and Phillies, who are tied for 2nd place. Certainly, if things go real wrong real fast, the Wild Card, which is nowhere as tough of a road in the playoffs as the NFL Wild Card is, can be plan B. Pedro Martinez could be a huge boost to the starting rotation and the team as the Mets will look to clinch consecutive NL East titles for the first time in their history.

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