Martinez to throw simulated game after rehab start rained out

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Pedro Martinez's first
rehabilitation start was rained out, so he will throw a simulated
game of 45 pitches against hitters from the Mets' Gulf Coast League
team on Thursday.

Martinez had been slated to pitch Wednesday night for the St.
Lucie Mets against the Brevard County Manatees.

"The plan is to try to simulate as close as possible to a real
game," Mets assistant general manager John Ricco said.

Martinez, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, had rotator cuff
surgery last Oct. 5 and threw to batters on June 26 for the first
time after the operation. The 35-year-old right-hander likely will
be scheduled for a minor league rehab start early next week.

In a move that may eventually make room for Martinez in the
starting rotation, the Mets have moved starter Jorge Sosa to the

Sosa was 6-1 in his first seven starts this season, but lost his
last three starts in July. He pitched two innings of scoreless
relief in the Mets' 13-inning loss to Milwaukee on Tuesday.

Brian Lawrence, a call-up from Triple-A New Orleans, will pitch
the series finale against the Brewers on Thursday.

Asked if Sosa would remain in the bullpen until Martinez
returns, Ricco deferred to manager Willie Randolph.

"It would depend on how Willie sees it," Ricco said.