|Martinez throws off mound for first time since surgery|
|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 05 June 2007 10:28|
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. (AP) -Pedro Martinez threw off a mound Tuesday for the first time since rotator cuff surgery last fall, one of the major steps toward his goal of rejoining the New York Mets' starting rotation by August.|
The three-time Cy Young Award winner threw 31 pitches after warming up with seven throws. Before that, he threw on flat ground from 120 feet at the Mets' spring training complex.
``I was very pleased with the way that it went,'' Martinez said.
Mets rehabilitation pitching coordinator Randy Niemann gave Martinez a pat on the back.
``For this stage, he looks very good,'' Niemann said. ``I think he felt good, and that's what we all wanted to see out of him at this point.''
Martinez usually makes his long tosses from 230 feet, a sign that this is part of his recovery. He threw only fastballs to catcher Danny Cummins, a Brooklyn Cyclones player a year ago.
``I wasn't really thinking about it,'' Martinez said. ``More than anything, it's making sure that nothing happens.''
Martinez plans to throw again Friday.
``We'll take every step as it goes,'' Niemann said.
Niemann stopped Martinez after the 31 pitches.
``He told me, You're done,''' Martinez said. ``I was like, `Wow, am I?' I was shocked.''
The 35-year-old righty was 9-8 with a 4.48 ERA last year as the Mets won the NL East for the first time since 1988. He missed the postseason but is heartened by the team's fast start this year.
``I think the team's success makes me take it easier,'' Martinez said. ``It helps me take my time to heal. I'm sure those guys are waiting for me to come back, but they want me to come back healthy.''
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