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The Return of Pedro Martinez, Philadelphia's Newest Toy

Ray TannockSenior Analyst IJuly 15, 2009

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 18:  Pitcher Pedro Martinez #45 of the New York Mets signs autographs before the game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on June 18, 2008 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.  The Mets won 5-4 in 10 innings.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

The Philadelphia Phillies have confirmed the acquisition of super pitcher and three-time Cy Young award winner Pedro Martinez Wednesday.

The move sends a big message to the division and gives a huge shot in the arm to the Phillies.

Martinez sports a lifetime 2.91 ERA and a very impressive 214-99 record. His travels have included the Dodgers, Expos, Red Sox, and Mets.

With the Mets last year, Martinez played well beneath his caliber, achieving a less than impressive 5-6 record alongside a dismal  5.61 ERA; his health and father’s death were the main reasons for last year’s performance says Martinez.

So what exactly does this mean for Philadelphia?

Well right now—nothing.

Martinez will be put on the 15 day DL with a mild shoulder sprain, and it is unclear just exactly when he will join the club under the spotlight.

“We are trying to assess where he is,” says general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.

In time however, the Phillies will inevitably enjoy Martinez’s more than capable arm, and it could come at just the right time.

If Martinez does go on the DL, that means his rehab probably won’t start until somewhere around August.

He will ultimately have to spend some additional time in the minors before coming back up which could push his first start to mid August.

By the time he gets his swagger going, if at all, it will be just in time for the playoffs.

A potentially healthy and potentially hot Martinez, in the postseason, is about as intimidating as Jason Werth’s mug shot on the Philly homepage.

But there is a twist to all of this.

Signing Pedro DOES NOT mean talks with Roy Halladay are dead. The Phillies don’t have any problem affording Halladay, rather, they are concerned with who the Jays want in return.

So let’s think about this for a moment shall we?

We all know that the Phillies’ pitching situation has been hurting for a while now. They have had times of greatness and other times of subpar play.

They have had to deal with some key injuries to Condrey and Bastardo and even Hamels twice already this year.

But if you look at what could be, this team can very quickly become an even more dangerous team than they already are.

In a perfect world for the Phillies, their starting rotation could look a little something like this:

Cole Hamels

Roy Halladay

Pedro Martinez

Joe Blanton

J.A.Haap

Let’s also assume that Moyer gets relegated to the bullpen in a set up role which could equally bolster the pen with Lidge and Romero leading the way, and there is the ever present rumor of bringing Myers up to a reliever spot to help integrate him back into play from his recent hip surgery.

Some players have already commented on their hopes of the front office making a bold move in signing Halladay as well—how mighty the pen can be.

All in all, the Phillies continue to improve upon an already very good team, and as their play continues to get better, a couple of right moves will put this team as a heavy favorite to be the first team to repeat a World Series since the 2000 Yankees.

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