Not much of a clear timeframe unfortunately... a few more Mets items at the end of the article.
NEW YORK -- Pedro Martinez left the club on Monday morning for Florida to begin his rehabilitation at the club's Minor League complex in Port St. Lucie. It is still undetermined when the 34-year-old righthander would rejoin the Mets, but manager Willie Randolph gave some indication on his plans for using Martinez after the ace returns.
"By the time he gets back, we should get him three or four starts," Randolph said before Monday's game against the Phillies. "But Pedro is very unique. He knows his body, knows what he has to do to be healthy and ready to pitch."
Martinez has been doing soft toss in the bullpen the past few days after removing the boot that protected his strained right calf. He is expected to continue the therapy that he has been doing here in Flushing and start to throw extensively throughout the week.
Martinez looked fresh Sunday as he carted his own bags into the Mets clubhouse. The 5-foot-11 veteran chatted on his cell phone before conversing with several teammates in person. He was walking around the locker room with the most energy he's shown in weeks.
Martinez, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 16, is eligible to come back on Wednesday. He last started on Aug. 14, when he allowed four hits and six runs in one inning in the Mets' 13-0 loss to the Phillies .
Martinez suffered another atypical outing on June 28 in a 10-2 loss to the Red Sox before going on the DL with inflammation in his right hip. Since then, Martinez has started only four games. He is 2-1 during that span with a no-decision and has allowed 13 earned runs in 20 1/3 innings with seven walks and 14 strikeouts.
"Yes, he's had his ups and downs this year but that hasn't affected the way we've played as a team," said Randolph. "We're not the type of team that feeds off his success or reacts when he does poorly."
Randolph mentioned that Martinez would most likely be the No. 1 starter in the playoffs if the rotation works accordingly. But the Mets skipper said that it is vital that his righty ace has quality starts throughout September.
"He'll need to show some positive signs," said Randolph. "He's a unique player, though, and he responds rather quickly."
Martinez has a 6-2 record with a 3.42 ERA in the postseason. He has 80 strikeouts and 26 walks in 79 1/3 innings pitched.
Rotation set: Randolph determined his rotation for the next five days and confirmed that both Dave Williams and Oliver Perez would get starts again. Randolph also said that Tom Glavine will most likely make the start in Friday's game against the Astros in Houston.
Williams, who will make his third start with the Mets on Wednesday, won in the Mets' 6-2 victory against the Cardinals on Thursday. The 27-year-old lefty allowed seven hits and two earned runs with one walk and four strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.
Perez, who will pitch on Thursday in Colorado, gets his second start since being recalled last week from the Minors. The 6-foot-3 left-hander had a no-decision in the Mets' 11-5 comeback win over the Phillies on Saturday. Perez had a no-hitter for 4 1/3 innings before allowing two hits and five runs -- four of which came on a grand slam by Ryan Howard.
If the announced schedule holds, Orlando Hernandez won't start again until Saturday at the earliest. Hernandez hasn't pitched since his 2-0 win against the Rockies at home on Aug. 20 in which he threw six scoreless innings of five-hit ball.
El Duque threw long toss on Sunday and did so again on Monday for about 30 minutes. He'll throw more long toss and some bullpen sessions in Colorado and Houston before Randolph makes a decision when to start the 36-year-old righty.
"We just want him to get as much rest as he needs," said Randolph, who reiterated Hernandez has no serious physical problems. "We'll see how he is over the next few days and let him get acclimated to pitching again. We'd be rushing him if we did it any sooner."
The return of Floyd: Cliff Floyd will make his first rehab start with Class A St. Lucie and is expected to fly out to Colorado or Houston sometime later this week. The Mets announced that Floyd is well enough to return to the club and it is expected he will do so when the rosters expand on Sept. 1.
No Valentin: Randolph said that he feels Jose Valentin is still not healthy enough to play on consecutive days. The Mets manager felt that his second baseman needs to be cautious at this time of year considering the change of weather.
"You just worry about guys slipping and sliding and that's why I held him out [Monday]," said Randolph.
"Trying to hit him was like trying to drink coffee with a fork." - Willie Stargell on Sandy Koufax