Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Baseball [Print without images]

Saturday, September 30, 2006
Mets' Martinez needs surgery on torn rotator cuff

Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Pedro Martinez is going to be out far longer than this postseason: The New York Mets' ace will miss a chunk of 2007, too -- because of an injured pitching shoulder.

Starting Pitcher
New York Mets

Profile
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L BB K ERA
23 9 8 39 137 4.48

Already ruled out of the playoffs because of a bad left leg, the three-time Cy Young Award winner will have right rotator cuff surgery next week and won't resume throwing off a mound until June, Mets general manager Omar Minaya said Saturday.

"How do you replace a Pedro Martinez? That being said, I have a lot of confidence in our scouts and I have a lot of confidence in our front office that we will find adjustments," Minaya said. "One thing we do have ... we've got numbers. We've got some good young arms. Whether it's the free-agent market or trades, we will find guys to fill that hole."

Martinez, who turns 35 next month, lasted only 2 2/3 innings at Atlanta on Wednesday as he tried to recover from an injury to his right calf muscle. Exams Thursday revealed a problem with his other calf -- which was announced -- and also uncovered the trouble in his rotator cuff -- which wasn't.

"He never complained to me about his shoulder bothering him," New York manager Willie Randolph said. "I don't know -- it could have been something that was lingering."

Martinez got a second opinion on the shoulder, which matched the initial reading, and opted for the operation rather than trying to rehabilitate the injury. Two Mets team doctors and Dr. William Morgan, who worked for the Boston Red Sox when Martinez pitched for that club, will participate in the surgery.

"There's no doubt he's disappointed, because he's not going to be with the club. His winter is going to be a winter of rehab and part of next year is going to be rehab," Minaya said. "But he's determined and he's looking at the challenge."

Minaya said he didn't know exactly when or how Martinez hurt his shoulder, but added that in their telephone conversation Saturday, the right-hander did say "he felt something different in his shoulder in that last game. He said that to me. I never heard that before."

Elias Says
The Mets announced on Saturday that Pedro Martinez will have rotator cuff surgery next week and will not return until the middle of next season. In recent years, Pedro's excellence has been compromised to a certain degree by his lack of durability. Over the last six seasons, Pedro' 2.99 ERA ranks second best in the majors, behind Johan Santana's 2.91, but his 1,069 innings pitched are only 34th most in the majors over that span.

• For more Elias Says, click here

Martinez went 9-8 with a career-worst 4.48 ERA in only 23 starts during an injury-filled season interrupted by problems with his hip, right calf and toe.

Asked whether the pitcher was considering retirement, Minaya said, "Absolutely not."

Martinez already was out for the playoffs because of a torn tendon in his left calf. The NL East champion Mets earned home-field advantage through the league championship series and start the playoffs next week at home -- where Minaya expects Martinez to pay his teammates a visit.

Minus Martinez, the Mets will have Orlando Hernandez pitch Game 1 and Tom Glavine start Game 2. It has not yet been determined which team the Mets will play in the first round, or the date of the opener.

Steve Trachsel and John Maine also could start later for the Mets in the best-of-five round.

After helping the Red Sox win the 2004 World Series, Martinez joined the Mets as a free agent, signing a $53 million, four-year contract that was a big stepping stone as Minaya set out to overhaul the club.

Martinez went 15-8 in his first season in New York, but 2006 was a struggle.

"It's very unfortunate he has to end his season like this," Randolph said. "But knowing him, and the way he works, I think he'll be fine."