Key Mets Giving Pedro a Vote of Confidence Does Not Make Us Confident

Key Mets Giving Pedro a Vote of Confidence Does Not Make Us Confident
July 14, 2009, 6:33 am
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When formulating an opinion on whether Pedro Martinez would be a good addition to the 2009 Phillies squad, most fans don't care much about the three Cy Young Awards, eight All-Star appearances, or the 2004 World Series win. Instead, we're looking at that stop with the Mets, which spanned four seasons, started well enough (0.95 WHIP in 2005!), but ended with a thud. Barring any possible 2009 comeback, it would be unfair to say his career ended thusly, because his body of work is simply too astounding to focus much attention to his waning season or two. Unless, that is, your team is a few hours from signing him. Then it's everything. 

Pedro is in Philly as we speak, with a rigorous physical set for 11 AM. No word on whether it includes a prostate exam, but at his age, it probably should. Anyway, in 20 appearances for the Mets last year, Pedro was essentially unable to work deep into games, and even on an abbreviated innings schedule, his numbers were terrible (5.61 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, .294 BAA). These are the numbers that have Phillies fans feeling a little skeptical this morning, assuaged only by the feeling that Pedro probably won't hurt the team. If he's less effective than the others at the bottom of the rotation, Ruben won't likely be pressed to keep trotting him out there. Most of us are OK with it, provided the cash expenditure doesn't make Roy Halladay's remaining 2009 salary the sticking point that prevents a deal. All signs point to the Pedro cash not being a major barrier, but who knows. 

What we do know, courtesy of Todd Zolecki, is that a few key Mets players have glowing praise for their former teammate. 

"Pedro is a pitcher who likes to compete," Mets ace Johan Santana said. "If Philadelphia is giving him an opportunity to play there, he's going to compete for sure. That's all he's looking for. He's a great friend of mine. We had a great time together in New York last year, and I hope all the best for him. He's looking for the best for him, and I believe that Philadelphia is offering him what he wants and the conditions that he wants, and he's going to have a chance to win there."

But can he still pitch?

"Time will tell," Santana said. "I don't really know. But he showed in the WBC that he was ready to go, and he wants to prove a lot of people that he still has a lot left in his tank. I believe that he's a man of his word. If he says that, he's going to compete."

Mets third baseman David Wright said he also thought Martinez threw well at the WBC.

"I know that's a small sample, but you can never count a guy like Pedro out," Wright said. "He's just got a certain competitiveness to him and a fire to him that not too many pitchers have."

So, you want us to put this giant horse where? Oh, behind the walls of our fortress! Will do!

Yeah yeah, I know they're just doing the PC thing and being nice when asked about their former teammate. I'm having a laugh at some pretty benign comments. But I can't help but think that some part of them wouldn't mind being on the opposite side of what they experienced last season. 

Either way, it's not likely Pedro will break the Phillies bank, and there's even a solid chance that if they sign him, he'll be a decent low-end starter. On top of having five Phillies in the All-Star game, there's a lot of news to watch over what is usually a quiet time in baseball. 
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