Mets-Reds rained out Friday

May 9, 2008 7:45:44 PM PDT
If the Mets have a plan for when Pedro Martinez might be back, they're not saying.Martinez threw nearly 60 pitches Friday at the club's spring training complex in Florida, but the team still won't divulge a timetable for when the injured right-hander could return.

"He was able to throw all his pitches," general manager Omar Minaya said before New York's scheduled game against Cincinnati was postponed by rain. "We're very encouraged by his progress."

Friday's game will be made up Saturday as part of a day-night doubleheader, with start times of 1:10 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Johan Santana is slated to pitch the opener for the Mets against Matt Belisle, with Mike Pelfrey getting the ball in Game 2 against Reds right-hander Bronson Arroyo.

Belisle and Pelfrey had been the scheduled starters Friday.

"I guess I would like it better if it was 20 minutes after the first game like it used to be, but we have to figure out a way to win both of these games," Cincinnati manager Dusty Baker said.

The game was called after a delay of about 55 minutes. Long before that, Reds slugger Ken Griffey Jr. was pulled from the starting lineup because of an illness. He was to be replaced in right field by Ryan Freel.

Also, Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips was out of the lineup with a sore left calf, sustained on a foul ball Wednesday. Baker said Phillips might have been available to pinch hit.

Baker wasn't sure which of the two games Griffey would start Saturday.

"Junior wants to play both games, but that isn't happening. I haven't figured out yet what we're going to do," the manager said.

As for Martinez, he has been on the disabled list since straining his left hamstring April 2 during his only start of the season, against the Florida Marlins.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner warmed up in the bullpen Friday before throwing batting practice in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Minaya said Martinez's arm is in good shape but the pitcher needs to get his legs healthy and strong.

His next step is another bullpen session, and Minaya didn't want to speculate about whether Martinez could be back with the Mets before the end of the month.

"With these injuries, you've got to be careful," the GM said. "Usually, we try to get guys to at least 100 pitches."

Like Cincinnati, the Mets also planned to shuffle their lineup Friday, dropping slumping slugger Carlos Delgado to the No. 7 spot. It would have been the first time Delgado batted that low since Sept. 30, 1995, with Toronto against the New York Yankees, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Delgado is hitting .216 with four homers, 16 RBIs and 23 strikeouts in 116 at-bats. He said he wasn't bothered by the move when manager Willie Randolph told him about it.

"He did say that he wanted to split the lefties. I think that was the reason behind it," Delgado said. "It doesn't matter, you've just got to be ready to hit."

Both teams made roster moves Friday.

The Mets activated backup catcher Ramon Castro from the 15-day disabled list and designated catcher Raul Casanova for assignment. Cincinnati placed reliever Kent Mercker on the 15-day disabled list with lower back pain and recalled left-hander Bill Bray from Triple-A Louisville.

Castro had been sidelined since spring training with a right hamstring injury.

"Every time I felt better, I tried to run the bases and it got worse," he said. "They decided to give me two weeks of treatment. That helped me a lot. I feel better. I'm ready to go. I can't wait."

The Mets have 10 days to trade, release or send Casanova outright to the minors. The 35-year-old catcher did a nice job during his fill-in duty and hopes to be claimed off waivers by another club.

"I know I can help any team in the big leagues," he said.

Reserve outfielder Angel Pagan said he had an MRI exam Thursday that showed a bruised labrum in his left shoulder. He hopes to be ready to play again in the next few days.

Pagan was hurt when he tumbled over a low wall while making a tough catch in foul territory Wednesday at Dodger Stadium. He aggravated the injury on a slide later in the game.

Relief pitcher Matt Wise is ready to come off the disabled list, and the Mets said they'll probably activate him in the very near future. Wise has been out since April 2 with a bruised right forearm.