Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Pedro: "I'm Not In Full Shape"

There’s a clear, concise piece on Pedro’s recent mound session over at The Daily News that’s worth three minutes of your time. Actually, you don’t even need to go. It’s so short that two block quotes should do the trick.

Martinez threw 39 pitches, truly testing the toe during the latter part of the session, when he pushed off the rubber hard for the first time. The dirt on the pants leg by his right ankle showed evidence of increased thrust in his delivery during this session. Martinez began to use the violent twisting motion he does during the season as he pushes off the rubber, though he did not use maximum force.

That’s the good news. At least he’s working on the problem and throwing hard – though I don’t know how convincing the dirt on his right ankle is as evidence. It could have been a dry day for all we know, with the mound kicking up more dirt than usual. And at this point in Spring Training, I don’t think it’s optimistic for a prolifically injured ace to be using a “violent twisting motion.”

"I feel the toe a little bit more. But I prefer to do it, and get used to doing it the way I normally do it, and see what the results are going to be," Martinez said. "I'm out of full shape. I'm just trying to get back to the mound, see how my toe is. My arm is not full strength. I still have a lot of work to do."

Last year was somewhat of an aberration, with Martinez showing up like a gamer. He had the intensity of a man on a mission, and was back to his dominant self during the season. Ostensibly, this was because of an increased off-season regimen. This season, however, he seems to be back to the Pedro of old, which would be fine if he wasn’t 34 years old.

Out of shape with an injured push-off toe. That’s exactly how I want my ace to show up to camp. Thanks for the winter rehab, Petey.