Pedro Martinez was in good spirits after yesterday’s simulated game. He wasn’t sharp, but he felt good, and for now, that’s what counts.
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. _Few things in a baseball clubhouse are more entertaining and enlightening than Pedro Martinez holding court.
For nearly an hour after yesterdayâ€™s simulated game, Martinez sat by his locker and jumped from topic to topic like a channel surfer.
That he talked that long answered the questions of his health.
After watching a video of Brett Favreâ€™s retirement press conference, Martinez said, “if he were a pitcher, heâ€™d be my hero.â€™â€™
Of course, he already has one, Juan Marichal, calling the Hall of Famer, “my idol.â€™â€™
Marichal spoke of his relationship with Johan Santana and the media; of not being the MVP in 1999; and of the Hall of Fame.
Of his health, he said, “Iâ€™m in good spirits.â€™â€™
That he feels nothing in one of the most scrutinized shoulders in sport was the good _ and most important news _ from his 53-pitch workout.
The workout itself brought mixed results from the analytical Martinez; whose next outing will be another simulated game on Tuesday, skipping the six-hour round-trip bus ride to Ft. Myers.
After throwing two innings to Endy Chavez, Damion Easley and a couple of minor leaguers, Martinez said: “It was OK. I didnâ€™t feel as comfortable as the other day, but I still got pretty good work in.â€™â€™
By comfort, Martinez said he felt sluggish because it was early in the morning and heâ€™s not used to throwing around 10 a.m. When he was with Boston, he pitched in those 11 a.m., Patriots Day starts.
“I didnâ€™t like them,â€™â€™ Martinez said. “Your body isnâ€™t awake then.â€™â€™
Itâ€™s hard to judge in a simulated game, but Martinez threw only two swing-and-miss and miss pitches, an indication his ball wasnâ€™t moving as well as he would have liked.
“He has some work to do just like everybody else,â€™â€™ Easley said. “Heâ€™s working himself into shape.â€™â€™
Martinez admitted to the rust, and on a scale of one-to-ten as far as being in in-season form, he said he was a “six or seven.â€™â€™
Martinez had a good change-up but said his curveball needs work.
“They got their hacks in,â€™â€™ Martinez said. “Endy seemed on top of everything I threw.â€™â€™
Martinez was hit in his first inning, but was sharper in the second.
“At first he was just throwing his pitches,â€™â€™ catcher Brian Schneider said. “Once we keep track of counts he said he felt better. It was more like a game.â€™â€™
Martinez said a pitcher doesnâ€™t really get on his game until a month or so into the season, and thatâ€™s the long-term goal manager Willie Randolph kept in mind.
“He got his work in. Itâ€™s early,â€™â€™ Randolph said. “It was a good side session. Pedro has a plan. I donâ€™t concern myself with Pedro.â€™â€™
And, as long as Martinez continues to laugh and hold court, and say heâ€™s in good spirits, there will be one less thing to worry about with the Mets.
Reach John Delcos at firstname.lastname@example.org.