Pedro Martinez, starting pitcher of New York Mets, want to represent Dominican Republic in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in March.
“I’m going to start a rehabilitation program,” Martinez said during a news conference in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. “To see if I can pitch in the Dominican tournament with the Licey Tigers.” “If I can recuperate from the inflammation in a toe on my right foot, I’m going to join the Dominican team in the World Baseball Classic,” he said.
“All baseball players that consider themselves to be Dominican must represent us, if at all possible, to render for the country the very best,” “If you are not bothered by your country ranking poorly in a Classic, in spite of having such good players, then you probably are not Dominican. I feel committed, but I also want my colleagues to support me, because I do not intend to go out on the field with 10 Class A minor-leaguers. That is not possible, because I would play a deficient role, I would not perform to the general public’s expectations and a bad performance would jeopardize my standing,” stated Martinez.
If Martinez indeed pitches in the Dominican winter league this year, it will be the first time he pitched for his country since 1996.
However, even General Manager Omar Minaya previous mentioned that they support Martinez to play WBC, they are concern about his fatigue and needs to “sit down and talk with Pedro” about winter ball and WBC.
“We support it (World Baseball Classic),” Minaya said on the beginning of October. “We all want to grow the game. The pressure to play, for some guys, like Petey, is very strong [and is] coming from their home countries. When the president of your country wants you to play, that’s pretty strong.”
One Mets official said. “I’m not sure it’s such a good idea that he pitches in the [World Baseball Classic],” the person said. “He’d have to be in game shape to do that, and that would put him at least a month ahead of schedule for our season.”
Minaya said he hasn’t spoken with Martinez about winter pitching or the condition of his toe, and Martinez didn’t say how much he might pitch in winter ball or in the Classic yet. Based on the conference, Pedro still has some problem, and is rehabbing his injured toe.
Minaya suggested Martinez’s pitching in the Dominican “could be just a way to get ready for the World Classic.” Although he expressed no concern, he did say that a conversation with Martinez would be advisable.
Martinez dealt with several injuries this season, the most bothersome being the toe inflammation, which also cost him the final two weeks of the season. He pitched 217 innings, the most he had in regular season since 2000.