mets.com wrote:Pedro Martinez is a bigger story than ever, apparently. Though the chance of the Mets ace pitching before the All-Star break is quite slim, the pitcher himself is no longer so. While rehabilitating his surgically repaired right shoulder, he has added 10 pounds of self-described muscle.
"That's one of our strategies," Martinez said Saturday in the Dominican Republic, where he made an appearance at a charity softball game staged by former Red Sox teammate David Ortiz.
The Associated Press reported as much and also quoted Martinez as saying he is "aiming for July or August as the return date." The Mets have said they expected his return in August.
Martinez told the AP his "progress has been excellent" and that he has no "problems anymore with my reach or flexibility. And so far, everything is going well."
He also provided more insight into the surgery he underwent Oct. 5 after a tear in his rotator cuff, hardly an uncommon injury for a veteran pitcher, had been diagnosed. "The problem has to do with the calcification of the bone that was broken with the tear and that had to be operated on. You have to let it run its course."
Martinez, who turned 35 three weeks after the surgery, was beset with injuries last year. He endured an unusual Spring Training, which was modified to accommodate the misshapen and inflamed large toe on his right foot, then injured his right hip in a slip and fall in Miami on May 25 and tore calf muscles in both legs in August and September. The rotator cuff injury was diagnosed in late September but had been suffered in Pittsburgh two weeks earlier.
He won his first five starts and had a 7-3 record in his first 15. But he was removed from his 16th start -- in Boston on June 28 -- after three innings, and, including that game, made eight starts (34 innings) in the Mets' final 86 games.
Pitching at 180 pounds, he produced a 9-8 record and 4.48 ERA in 23 starts and 132 2/3 innings. The 2006 season, his 14th in the big leagues, was the first in which his ERA was greater than 4.00 and the fifth in which it exceeded 3.00.
The Mets have said they are not relying on Martinez. Also, the team has not acquired another proven starting pitcher, making them more reliant on their own young pitchers: John Maine, Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez, Philip Humber, Dave Williams and Jason Vargas. Alay Soler has not been mentioned as a potential starter.