BOCA CHICA, Dominican Republic (AP) -New York Mets fans, mark your calendars: Pedro Martinez could be back on the mound by August.
``Things with Pedro are moving forward very nicely,'' Mets general manager Omar Minaya said Tuesday. ``We are hoping for his return in August, but the most important thing is that he recovers from his injury.''
Martinez, in the third year of a four-year contract with the Mets, has sat out the season recovering from rotator cuff surgery. Last year, he went 9-8 with a 4.48 ERA.
Minaya and Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon were the Dominican Republic to break ground on a new $7.5 million team academy east of Santo Domingo.
The complex, which will house 60 young players from around Latin America, will replace a facility rented by the Mets on the other side of the Dominican capital.
``This season started with 98 Dominican players on major league rosters and with this academy we are going to try and capitalize on those resources,'' Wilpon said.
The team also announced it will play three exhibition games in the Caribbean country next spring.
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