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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