A quick run-down of some key points from the Pedro Martinez press conference that wrapped up about an hour ago.
1) General manager Ruben Amaro Jr. estimated that Martinez will be ready to join the rotation in two-to-three weeks. Best case scenario, he is ready by the time he is eligible to be activated from the disabled list, which is July 30. There is a good chance that Martinez isn't ready until after that. It's safe to say, though, that the Phillies are planning on having him ready to pitch for the bulk of August.
2) Martinez will not throw off a mound today as his shoulder continues to recover from the battery of medical tests the Phillies ran him through yesterday. The tests included dye being injected into his shoulder. Martinez said that the shoulder is still sore, but that he is hopeful he can resume throwing within the next couple of days.
3) Amaro said that there is no definite timeline yet for Martinez's rehab starts. He will travel with the team to Miami, where they open up a series against the Marlins tomorrow. It sounds like he will throw a side at some point this weekend, then will likely head to Clearwater to work at the team's minor league complex down there. In a previous post I outlined a hypothetical rehab plan. After listening to Amaro and Martinez at the press conference, I think that plan is a pretty accurate reflection of how the Phillies will proceed.
How many games will Martinez win this season?
4) Amaro and Martinez both made it clear that the goal is to have Martinez pitching in the rotation. That said, Amaro conceded that Martinez could wind up with a bullpen role if the starting experiment fails. And Martinez said he would be open to such a role, and that as of today he is an "employee" of the Phillies, and will pitch in whatever role they ask of him. He mentioned his first year in the big leagues, when he was an electric reliever for the Dodgers, and his experience in the World Baseball Classic, when he pitched six innings of effective relief for the Dominican Republic. But again, right now everyone's focus is on Martinez being a starter.
5) Martinez said that once he did not sign with a team in time for the start of the season, he moved forward expecting to sign somewhere in July. Because of that, he did not throw much off the mound, hoping not to "waste any bullets" in vain. He has thrown three times since the World Baseball Classic, the final two under the watchful eye of Phillies personnel. Special assistant Charlie Kerfeld watched the first session, and was joined by assistant general manager Benny Looper for the second. Martinez said he threw about 60 pitches in his first session and 65 in his second. Amaro said the velocity on his fastball ranged from 86-91, a far cry from where it was in Martinez's prime, but impressive enough that the Phillies felt he could still be effective at the major league level.
6) Martinez says he feels completely healthy, much more so than he did last season, when groin and shoulder problems hampered him in his 20 starts with the Mets.
7) That's most of the important stuff for now.