Pedro Martinez, SP [NYM]Injury:
Analysis: If and when Pedro makes another miraculous return from another major injury, he will likely do so with historical panache: he needs just two strikeouts to reach 3,000 for his career. My instinct is to say that it’s easy to forget, but in reality, it isn’t — the 1999 season of Pedro Martinez was the finest I’ve ever seen by a starting pitcher. As a refresher, he went 23-4 with a 2.07 ERA, 313 strikeouts compared to only 37 walks, earning the pitching doppelganger to a Triple Crown. Eat your heart out, Brandon Webb.
As hinted, he has the distinction of being able to effectively pitch back from injury. After his last rotator cuff injury in 2001, he rebounded to go 20-4 with a 2.26 ERA. Last year was a trying one for Pedro, as he suffered from injuries to his hip, both calves, and ultimately, his shoulder. Before any of these, he was 5-1 with a 2.50 ERA.
To help expedite his return to the mound, Pedro has added 10 pounds of muscle to his historically wiry frame. Throughout the process, he has been ahead of schedule, tossing simulated games and bullpen sessions without any setbacks. His simulated game on Friday is scheduled to be his last, and after that, he’ll throw a few games in the minors. In other words, the suspense shouldn’t be too long for strikeout #3000.