Pedro is going to miss the first round of the WBC.
Pedro Martinez's lingering right big toe injury will keep him out of at least the opening-round games of the World Baseball Classic, Newsday has learned.
Martinez said yesterday he is hoping to join his Dominican team for later rounds "if everything goes perfectly."
"Without a doubt my country's people expect me to perform, but only if I'm healthy," Martinez told Newsday. "They know in the long run it's better to see me pitch every five days than not at all, even if it's the Classic."
At least the first round? THE FIRST ROUND? How about the entire thing? As of now, he is aiming to throw off the front slop of the mound on Sunday. As Bob Klapisch pointed out yesterday, the Mets season more or less hinges on Pedro. No matter how much improved the offense is, Glavine, Heilman, Traxx, Zambrano, and Soler/Lima/Bannister is not getting it done for any prolonged stretch. Even if a top line starter is available at the trade deadline, and a lot of times they are not, Pedro chancing injury in the WBC may cost Lastings Milledge since he is the only viable chip that will bring back value.
"We have full trust in Pedro," general manager Omar Minaya said. "I think he wants to play, and he's going to do everything he can to play. But he is very understanding of the bigger issues. We're confident he'll be OK as far as the season goes. He's not going to risk his career or his year for the sake of playing."
I'm all for pride in your country and bringing home a title in a tournament like this, but there has to be limits. Even if things do go perfectly for him, he is not exactly clear from problems. He's had his share over the past two years and that alone should be the determining factor for him not to play and not how he feels right now. It is just not in the cards for Pedro this year and he will have everyone's blessing next year if he is healthy all the way through 2006 and next winter. At this point, he could just be posturing for his country to look like a good soldier and is unlikely to play, but it seems like he is going to give it his all to play. It is time for Omar and Fred to step in and strongly advise him to take it slow and get ready for the Mets opener and put this to bed. There is a lot riding on his toe and his arm and no one to back him up if his health becomes a problem.
- The Mets were ranked #30 without Pelfrey and one would assume Mike is worth a few spots higher, but the Yankees are ranked 17th with no players ranked ahead of the Mets top two and only two in the top 100 overall. Phil Hughes at #39 and Eric Duncan at #86. You have to take into account organizational depth, but the top prospects should certainly weighted more. Of course, the Yankees might be deeper, but they have a lot of similarities with the Mets in that they have a lot of high risk, high reward guys at the lower levels. It is certainly puzzling why there is just a huge disparity in the number they are ranked when it is just not clear that the Yankees' system is that much better. Unless of course the difference between 17 and 30 is close it doesn't matter, but I hardly think that is the case.
- As much as I like Phil Humber, I'm a bit upset at this current moment that Stephen Drew was not the name called by the Mets in the 2004 draft.
5. STEPHEN DREW, ss, Diamondbacks
"He's got power. He can hit for average. He's got instincts. He has all the defensive tools to play an outstanding shortstop. He is one of the most instinctual players for his age that I've ever seen."
--Diamondbacks scouting director Mike Rizzo
- They really like Juston Upton.
2. JUSTIN UPTON, ss, Diamondbacks
"If you stick him in center field right now, he could be an all-star in two years."
--anonymous scouting director
Jeez. That is a bold statement if I've ever seen one.
- This one struck me as funny.
13. ALEX GORDON, 3b, Royals
"Alex Gordon is obviously a guy we had targeted for a long time. We feel like he's going to be a cornerstone for this organization for many years to come."
--Royals scouting director Deric Ladnier
By many years to come, you mean six years before he hits free agency.
Martinez said he doesn't believe that Manny Ramirez will report as late as the slugger told the Red Sox he would. "I talked to him the other day and he was happy. He was in Fort Lauderdale, just about 45 minutes from [Red Sox camp]. I think he's just trying to make them nervous," said Martinez.
Later that season, after he cut an untrammeled swath through the Cub lineup for an entire afternoon, a reporter asked Cub manager Jim Frey what he thought of Gooden’s poise. “The guy has a 93-mile-per-hour fastball and one of the best curves in baseball and you ask me about his poise?” Frey sniffed. “What the hell does he need poise for?”
'Tis a shame what happened to that dude.