The anticipation of Phillies fans lately has centered on pitcher Roy Halladay of the Toronto Blue Jays, but another pitcher is also drawing some interest from fans.
Pedro Martinez will likely be starting for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs Friday night, but nothing is official. If you do the math though, Martinez next scheduled day to pitch would be Friday and they want him to face higher competition than he saw at Clearwater. That leaves Reading and Lehigh Valley and the Reading Phillies are on the road Friday, making Lehigh Valley the likely place for Martinez to pitch, but even he's not sure. "I don't really know. I'm a little confused about that [where he's going to pitch]," admitted Pedro after his bullpen session.
If Martinez has his way, he thinks that start is all he would need before heading for the Phillies to face big league hitters. "I'll do whatever they want me to do, but I think if I have one more turn, I'll be ready. I want to get going," laughed Martinez.
Martinez made one start for the Clearwater Threshers this past Sunday, but it was cut short by rain and he finished his "outing" throwing in the cage at Clearwater. Tuesday at Lehigh Valley, Martinez threw 61 pitches in a bullpen session and said that he feels as good as he has ever felt. "I really do feel good," said Pedro. "This is the best I've ever felt."
As for his potential role with the Phillies, Martinez is of the understanding that he was signed to be a starter, but he'll do whatever it takes to win. "I'll pitch out of the 'pen on my day off if I have to, if it helps us win," said Pedro with a sly laugh. "Ruben hasn't told me that anything has changed, so I plan on starting when I get to Philly, but we'll see what happens."
And in case you're wondering, Martinez is following the Roy Halladay rumors right along with the rest of us. "I hope we get him. He can help us, there's no doubt about that," said Martinez of the potential of acquiring Halladay. "I also watch as many of their games as I can, but I can't see them all."
The arrival of Martinez is big news for fans. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs opened Coca-Cola Park early so fans could watch Pedro's bullpen session and it was shown on the park's big screen video board.