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Pedro: I'll be in Expo form


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I'll be in Expo Form


MIAMI - Not only is Pedro Martinez expected to rejoin the Mets in August, the ace predicted he would be throwing in the mid-90s, in the form that translated to a 1.90ERA with the Expos a decade ago.


"If you ask me, I don't have any doubts that I will be mid-90s again," said Martinez, who visited his teammates yesterday at Dolphin Stadium, his first appearance with the Mets since they broke spring training.


Martinez, recovering from Oct. 5 surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff, is currently throwing baseballs on flat ground at 230feet. The ace indicated he feels good enough to throw off a mound now, but GM Omar Minaya said that'll wait until next month, with an August return the most realistic target. Martinez actually said he hasn't felt this well since the mid-1990s.


"Those were the days I felt like this - like I could just pick up a ball and shoot it without any hesitation, anything to think about," Martinez said. "That's how good I've been feeling."


As for his rehab, he offered: "You know what's harder to actually handle? It's the fact you feel so well. You wonder, 'Why am I not on top of a mound?' Handling the time and feeling so well like I have, it's really difficult to deal with my patience sometimes. I see myself stranded at the same distance - 230, 230, 230. I'm throwing 230 and you can't move past that 230. You throw flat ground and you feel like you can pitch a whole game and you're not moving.


"You just have to wait, sit back and relax. That's the hardest part."


Martinez has spent his idle time doing such things as watching Roger Clemens make a start with Double-A Trenton this week.


"I saw Roger pitch the other day," Martinez said. "Without a doubt, I can do that and probably even better at this point. I could probably throw as hard, or maybe harder. I feel like I'm in better condition. Roger doesn't seem to be like he's supposed to be, like I know Roger. The Roger I'm used to seeing is not him. And I can expect that because it's so early.


"At the same time, I would like him to take all the attention, and leave me just the way I am - under the bridge walking by. I'll just make my comeback and let you guys be the judge."


Martinez, also playing the role of father yesterday, trying to keep his two sons from spilling ice cream on themselves, planned only a one-day visit with the big-league team. He'll be in the Dominican Republic this weekend for that country's Mother's Day. He was expected for the Subway Series last weekend in Flushing, but Martinez said straying away from Port St. Lucie compromises his rigorous workouts.


"I'm excited to be here and be back and be part of the team - at least for moral support," Martinez said. "I was expecting to do this earlier, but the way I've been working, I cannot afford to be traveling more than two or three hours between workouts. They come here, it makes it a lot easier."


Martinez had his limits, though. He didn't shave his head.


"Until I'm on the active roster, I don't qualify," he said with a laugh.

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