Phillies Watch Martinez Throw Again
A Phillies source said team officials watched right-hander Pedro Martinez throw three scoreless innings in a simulated game this afternoon at the organization’s academy in the Dominican Republic.
Phillies assistant to the general manager Charley Kerfeld watched Martinez pitch Tuesday. The Phillies then requested a second session with Martinez to see how his arm responded. Contrary to a report, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was not in attendance Friday. He is in Philadelphia.
The source would not say what the Phillies thought about Martinez’s second performance. But if they came away impressed and remained interested in signing him, they would require Martinez take a physical.
If Martinez takes a physical and passes it, he could agree to a contract with the Phillies as early as next week.
“I feel the best I have for some time,” Martinez told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The Phillies have been looking for starting pitching help for most of the season. Their rotation has a 5.06 ERA, which is 15th in the National League. A baseball source told MLB.com on Thursday night that signing Martinez would not prevent the Phillies from continuing to pursue Blue Jays right-hander Roy Halladay in a trade. In fact, they plan to pursue Hallday whether they sign Martinez or not.
The Phillies don’t need a fifth starter again until July 20 against the Cubs because of the All-Star break, but because Martinez hasn’t pitched this season he likely would need to pitch in the Minor Leagues before he could pitch in the Majors.
The Houston Astros claimed Chris Coste off waivers, which cleared room for the Phillies to activate Raul Ibanez from the DL. Ibanez is not starting tonight against the Pirates.
Coste had not started behind the plate since June 17, so the writing was on the wall. The Phillies clearly preferred Paul Bako as Carlos Ruiz‘s backup. But Coste handled the news well. He joked that his time in Philly was so good that he could write a book about it. In fact, he did.
I thoroughly enjoyed covering Coste since he made his debut in 2006. He always treated me well. I wish him the best.