Upbeat Pedro visits Phillies, plays catch
Veteran righty planning to head to Clearwater on Monday
MIAMI -- Simply getting a feel is what Pedro Martinez was doing at the Phillies clubhouse at Land Shark Stadium on Thursday.
Getting a feel for his new teammates.
Getting a feel for a different Major League clubhouse.
And basically getting a feel for an actual baseball in his hands again.
The recently signed 37-year-old right-hander got some treatment and lightly played catch before the opener of a four-game series against the Marlins. The next step will be to throw a bullpen session -- likely Saturday -- and then travel to the Phillies' Spring Training home in Clearwater, Fla., on Monday, though it has yet to be decided when he'll pitch in a Minor League rehab game.
"It's all going to depend on how I feel the next few days," Martinez said. "I just had a dye injected in my shoulder and a big needle, so I'm going to just see how I feel, do what I can and actually wait and see. As far as reporting, I'm going to report on Monday to Clearwater. After that, any time I will just jump on a mound, as soon as I get rid of the dye and flush it out, and see how everything goes."
Martinez, who last threw while pitching a simulated game in the Dominican Republic on Friday, had an arthrogram, which expands the labrum and injects a fluid so it can be looked at in an X-ray. With the fluid, pitchers are supposed to hold off from throwing for a couple of days.
Martinez was signed Wednesday to a one-year, $1 million contract -- plus about another $1.5 million in incentives -- and was placed on the 15-day disabled list with what's being called a mild right shoulder strain.
The three-time American League Cy Young Award winner is eligible to be back as early as July 30. But Martinez will just take it day by day for now -- especially after a long last 24 hours.
"I flew in [Wedneday], came in late at night, slept and ate something, and here I am," Martinez said. "It's not easy. I'm not 21 anymore.
"Just keep track, because I'm just going to go and do my work -- get comfortable, get to know everybody. These days are really days to just get to recognize everybody and kind of get accustomed to doing the same things again."
Martinez walked into manager Charlie Manuel's office Thursday afternoon to introduce himself, but the Phillies' skipper needed no introduction.
"I've seen him a lot," Manuel said with a smirk.
The two had their battles while Martinez pitched the past four years with the Mets. Also, perhaps Martinez's greatest postseason performance came with the Red Sox when he hurled six shutout innings of relief against the Indians in Game 5 of the American League Division Series, when Manuel was serving as Cleveland's hitting coach.
But Manuel said he's been noticing Martinez since his Minor League days with the Dodgers.
"I think the first time I saw Pedro was when he pitched in [Triple-A] Albuquerque, and he was young, and he threw fastball-curveball," Manuel said. "He was good then, too."
Manuel said Martinez looks like he's in "pretty good shape," and he feels he has the desire to pitch in the biggest stage -- after some Minor League games, of course.
"He definitely wants to pitch, I got that from him," Manuel said. "He's definitely serious about pitching, and he definitely wants to do it."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.