Nothing imminent with Pedro

The Phillies have kept in contact with pitcher Pedro Martinez. Could he return to Philadelphia? (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

You've read this several times over the past couple months, but in light of an ESPN Deportes story that has gained some traction, it bears repeating. The Phillies and Pedro Martinez are not close to an agreement that would bring the veteran righthander back to the Phillies. The two sides have maintained open communication since the end of last season, and Martinez remains an option for the Phillies should they find themselves in need of starting pitching later in the season. But as of right now, the coaching staff and front office feel like their best course of action is to evaluate their current rotation before making any drastic decisions.

Kyle Kendrick and Jamie Moyer both turned in less-than-stellar results in their first starts of the season, but the Phillies know that any fair judgment requires a body of work.

This is what will likely end up happening:

Kendrick will remain in the rotation until righthander Joe Blanton is ready to return from the disabled list. At the earliest, this won't happen for another week-and-a-half. In all likelihood, Kendrick will get three more starts, including tomorrow against the Nationals. At that point, the Phillies will go in one of three directions: Either they'll send him back to the minor leagues to start, keep him in the bullpen as a long reliever, or keep him in the rotation over Jamie Moyer.

At that point, the Phillies will likely wait until mid-to-late May to decide whether their current No. 5 starter (Moyer or Kendrick) is a better option than Matinez. Last year, they waited until mid-May to remove Chan Ho Park from the rotation. It stands to reason that they will afford Moyer or Kendrick a similar length of rope.

If the Phillies start to look at Martinez as a serious option, I'd expect them to try to bring him into the fold earlier than they did last season, since it was August by the time he was ready to join the rotation.

Granted, injuries could change this timetable.

For now, though, a return by Pedro is not imminent.

Possible, but not imminent.

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