It's not a stretch to say Martinez is ready for Phillies start
LAKEWOOD, N.J. - In the stretch. That's where Pedro Martinez spent the bulk of yesterday's bullpen session at FirstEnergy Park, home of the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws of the South Atlantic League.
LAKEWOOD, N.J. - In the stretch.
That's where Pedro Martinez spent the bulk of yesterday's bullpen session at FirstEnergy Park, home of the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws of the South Atlantic League.
"That was the plan, to try and go out there and work from the stretch a little bit," Martinez said.
The three-time Cy Young Award Winner said he feels "really good, excellent" and will make his next rehab start Wednesday at Double A Reading.
"I would like to pitch [for the Phillies] right now," he said. "But it's not up to me."
Martinez was roughed up for four runs in the fifth inning of Friday's Triple A rehab start with the IronPigs.
Yesterday Martinez threw 35 of his 53 pitches from the stretch position into the glove of backup Lakewood catcher Kyle Lafrenz.
"I struggled the last time only from the stretch," Martinez said. "So we wanted to specifically to work on the pitches that I missed [locating] while being from the stretch.
"Like I said before I thought it was something that could be quickly corrected and I hope I can put it into place, really quick."
"That's the big thing he was trying to do was work out of the stretch," said Lakewood pitching coach Bob Milacki, a former major league pitcher. "He felt he needed to work at it. He knows what he needs. He doesn't need a pitching coach to tell him what he needs. He's his own best pitching coach."
There were no radar guns monitoring Martinez' deliveries.
"I really wasn't watching velocity as much as I was watching movement," Milacki said. "He asked me to watch and see if he was drifting; he was pretty smooth though his mechanics.
"Some of the balls came out of his hand pretty good, especially when he was throwing his cutter."
Martinez said the rehab outings, "will get me to be where I want to be as soon as possible.
"And this really motivates me to go out there and work hard, hopefully make it back to Philly soon."
As Martinez began his work many of Lakewood's pitchers were doing stretching exercises on the wet outfield grass.
But as the session continued most of the BlueClaws' staff, generally ranging in age from 19 to 23, gathered to watch Martinez like students with their eyes glued to a professor.
"I would do the same thing if I was in their position," Martinez said. "I would try and find anything I can learn from that session there.
"They're smart. They know what they're looking for and I'm willing to give it all."
"I hope to have a talk with him," said Heitor Correa, a 19-year-old Lakewood righthander from Brazil.
"I watched him; it was very exciting," Correa said. "I kind of figured a couple of things out from watching him.
"I thought he wouldn't come today because it was raining but he showed up. It was very cool, man.
"In Brazil we don't have the opportunities to watch a pitcher who's been in the big leagues for a long, long time. I will never forget about this day." *