Pedro Feels Like His Old Self…Again|
by: Patrick Hickey, Jr. | Senior Writer - NY Sports Day | Saturday, May 26, 2007
After missing the first 47 games of the season due to a torn right rotator cuff, Pedro Martinez visited the Mets dugout during their game against the Florida Marlins on Friday, taking some time off from his rigorous rehabilitation schedule, in an effort to spend some time with his teammates.
While his return isn’t a permanent one, as the three-time Cy Young winner isn’t scheduled to return to the rotation until at least August, he did have some words to say about the progress of his rehabilitation.
"If you ask me, I don't have any doubts I'll be mid-90s again," Martinez told MLB.com, referring to his declining velocity over the past few seasons. “Especially if I continue to feel the way I have."
Some critics may laugh at the fact that Martinez believes that he can throw in the mid-90s again, after throwing in the high 80s for most of his two-year reign at Shea, but no one can doubt that the Mets ace is focused on coming back in the best shape of his career, rehabbing up to three hours a day at Port St. Lucie, just waiting for the moment when he can dominate big league hitters again.
Martinez, however, could care less about the critics and is focused on return as healthy and dominant as possible. Comparing the way he’s feeling right now to his glory days with the Montreal Expos, Martinez expects to come back stronger than ever before.
"I feel really good," Martinez told Newsday. "Even though I get really sore from all the workouts and stuff, it's not like the pain I was feeling from pitching and the wear and tear that I had in my arm and my body. It's totally different. It's like I'm rejuvenated. I feel like I'm my good old '97, '96 years."
In typical Martinez fashion, the charismatic 36-year old also told the media that when he comes back, he thinks he’ll be able to throw harder than Roger Clemens, who he watched pitch in Trenton earlier this week and wasn’t impressed.
"I probably can throw harder; I feel like I'm in better condition,” Martinez told MLB.com. “Roger doesn't seem like he's supposed to be like I know Roger to be. The Roger I'm used to seeing is not him. And I can expect that, because it's so early. But at the same time, I would like him to take all the advantage and leave me just the way I am, doing my rehab."
As far as the Mets are concerned however, they’d like nothing better than Martinez to enjoy the fruits of his labor and prove just how dominate he can really be.