Pedro: I'll get better or retire

Associated Press
Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez said Friday he is working hard at rehabilitation after rotator cuff surgery but will retire if he suffers any major setbacks.

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - New York Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez should know next week when he can start throwing.


Recovering from rotator cuff surgery, Martinez is likely to miss the first half of the season. He repeated that he's working hard at rehabilitation and expects his right shoulder to heal.

"If it doesn't, then I need to hang it up, hang it and go home because I'm not going to work any harder," he said Friday.

Martinez is due for a checkup with team doctors next week. He has been working out three-to-four hours a day and has been able to increase the weight that the shoulder can lift and resist.

"I still feel like I can do it like I can help this team get over the hump," he said.

Martinez said the rehabilitation has made him appreciate the baseball career he has had. Martinez, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, is 206-92 with a 2.81 ERA and 2,998 strikeouts. Last season, he was 9-8 with a 4.48 ERA.

"It's something God gave me," Martinez said. "It's a gift. I don't know how long it's going to last, but I did realize something you just never know how long you have baseball with you, so enjoy every moment of it, enjoy every bit of it and when it's time to let it go, let it go. No regrets."

DIAMONDBACKS: Randy Johnson pitched off a mound Friday for the first time since back surgery in October and said after his private bullpen session that he felt fine.

The Big Unit threw 25 fastballs and said he was "pretty free and easy" - although reporters were not allowed to verify that for themselves. Johnson's private workout was viewed by Diamondbacks coaches on a field away from the media.

BLUE JAYS: Joe Matumoto, a 36-year-old left-hander who pitched for Brazil's national team, agreed to a minor league contract with Toronto and was invited to spring training.

The native of Sao Paulo, Brazil was selected MVP of the 2005 South American Games, and the Blue Jays said he was considered to be the ace of Brazil's national team.

Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi watched Matumoto work out earlier this week.

GIANTS: Russ Ortiz expects nothing less than to be in San Francisco's rotation as the fifth starter this season.

That's why he returned to the comfort of his former club for 2007, and the Giants brought him back because they believe he can fill that void. Still, San Francisco isn't ready to name Ortiz a starter just yet - and manager Bruce Bochy has said it still might be well into March before the Giants announce a decision.



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