March 12, 2008

Pedro Says Johan Is "The Man" For Opening Day!

In today's NYPost, Bart Hubbuch, in an article entitled "Take It From Me," says that Pedro has conceded the fact that Santana will be the Mets' opening day starter.

When Johan arrived, that was the first day [the Opening Day starter] was decided," Martinez said after throwing a 59-pitch simulated game here. "You don't pay a guy $150 million or whatever to come over here and be the No. 2 or No. 3 [starter]. It's impossible."

Martinez apparently looked great on Sunday, throwing a simulated game to Mets' minor leaguers and Carlos Beltran, and also seems to be as healthy as he's been in years.

Prior to the start of Spring Training, a number of out-of-town writers speculated that there would be trouble with Pedro being replaced as the number one man in the Mets' rotation, but Martinez has been more than hospitable to his new staff-mate, even proclaining that the Mets would have "two number one starters, 1A and 1B." As we've written before, Santana is one of Pedro's personal favorite ballplayers, for both what he does on the field as well as what he does off the field in his charitable endeavors, and the pair seem well-suited to sharing the spotlight of the Big Apple.

Marty Noble at discusses Pedro's thoughts on his Sunday outing, as well as his (Noble's) thoughts on Pedro's pitch-speed:

"I've been bombarded with questions about Johan [Santana], when I'm going to pitch and my velocity," he said. "But no one asks about my health. And that's the most important thing. Tommy [Glavine] was successful. No one asked about his velocity.

Martinez couldn't say for certain but he was relatively sure that the pitches that put the behind-the-plate radar gun at 87 mph on Tuesday had traveled with greater speed than any pitch he threw after his return to active duty in September. If sub-87 was enough for him to win then -- in his still compromised state -- 87 and wherever his velocity goes between now and midseason will be more than sufficient to defuse the quickest bats.

"It's not about velocity, it's about changing speeds," Martinez said.

(Rick) Peterson, who didn't make the trip to Fort Myers for the Mets' real game vs. the Red Sox, was delighted by what he had witnessed -- "A small step for Pedro, a giant leap for the Mets," he said.

Regardless of who starts the first game, and it sure looks like it will be Johan, Jonathan, John and I will be there, live from Miami, to bring you the action first-hand! Again, if any of our readers plan to attend this game, contact us so we can meet you for a beer and a hot dog before game-time!

Today's game, at 1pm EST, features Oliver Perez taking on the Orioles at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie. Let's hope Perez shows us more today than he has so far in Spring Training. Following Perez to the mound will be closer Billy Wagner as well as Aaron Heilman, among others. I'll be back after the game with thoughts on Perez's performance.


Anonymous said...

oliver perez had better start throwing well

Anonymous said...

martinez took this alot better than i thought he would

Anonymous said...

i cant wait to see that dynamic duo at work

Anonymous said...

if maine pitches just as well then we will have a dynamic trio