Former Mets GM and current ESPN analyst Steve Phillips gave his thoughts on Pedro Martinez last night, and even though there’s no chance the Mets would pursue him, I found what he had to say very interesting.
After watching Martinez last year, I had real doubts whether he’d be a competitive major league pitcher again. But after seeing his two three-inning outings at the World Baseball Classic, the second of which came on two days’ rest, I believe that his shoulder is healthy. He showed the ability to bounce back from one outing to the next. The velocity on his fastball was in the range of 90 mph. He also had good bite on his curveball, and his changeup is as deceptive as ever. When Pedro’s shoulder was bothering him the past couple of years, he would drop his shoulder in his delivery. He wasn’t doing that at all in Puerto Rico during the WBC.
Another good sign was that he was dancing and smiling again, something you didn’t see much in New York last season. His father’s illness and subsequent death took a toll on him, and it has taken him some time to recover. He still has a heavy heart, but he’s starting to come out of it and clearly wants to compete again as a major league pitcher.
He believes it may be the end of the road now that his team has been eliminated from the WBC. Now that Pedro can’t show teams how far he has come back, it may be hard for him to find a team willing to take a chance on him.
On the other hand, the fact that Pudge will continue to play in the WBC works against him because any team that might have interest would want him in camp so he can work with his pitchers.
He ends his article with this:
Whether they like it or not, it could be the end of the road for these guys and we might not see them again until five years later when they both show up on the Hall of Fame ballot.
I think he’s being a bit melodramatic. I’m pretty certain we haven’t seen the last of Pudge and Pedro.