Inside Pitch: Mets hunting for arms

Mets general manager Omar Minaya keeps talking, but will he pull the trigger on a trade for a pitcher by Monday's deadline?

"There's no way of knowing," said manager Willie Randolph.

The names are obvious, but with equally clear reasons why something won't get done: Barry Zito -- Oakland is in first place and insists on outfield prospect Lastings Milledge; Dontrelle Willis -- the rebuilding Marlins want to do it with young pitching and it makes no sense to help the Mets; and Washington's Livan Hernandez -- he's inconsistent.

If they don't do anything, Randolph said he has confidence in what he has.

"I'll go to bat with what I have," Randolph said. "I have confidence in my boys."

The Mets currently have two rookies, John Maine and Mike Pelfrey, in their rotation, but the former has been more effective and is likely to stick if Pedro Martinez makes a successful return to the rotation.

REPLAY: Pedro Martinez was reinstated from the disabled list Friday night and gave up four runs on five hits and two walks with two strikeouts in a 6-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves.

Martinez gave up four runs in the first and then settled down to work six innings.

General manager Omar Minaya said the team needed to see Martinez pitch before the trade deadline, and his recovery from the first outing could lessen the urgency to make a deal.

Martinez, who gave up eight runs in three innings in a loss at Boston on June 28, had been on the disabled list with inflammation of the right hip, with his return slowed by a bout of food poisoning.

NOTES, QUOTES

  • RHP Pedro Martinez returned to the rotation Friday at Atlanta for the first time since June 28 at Boston. Martinez gave up four runs on five hits, with all the runs coming in the first inning. Then he settled down to throw five scoreless innings.

  • 1B Carlos Delgado, who hit .412 during the Mets' recent homestand, didn't start Friday against Atlanta LHP Horacio Ramirez.

  • The Mets still want to add a pitcher prior to Monday's trade deadline, but manager Willie Randolph said he didn't know if the team would do anything.

  • Manager Willie Randolph set the rotation for the Florida series beginning Tuesday with rookie RHP Mike Pelfrey, followed by RHPs Steve Trachsel and Pedro Martinez.

  • RHP Heath Bell was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk to make room on the roster for RHP Pedro Martinez.

    BY THE NUMBERS: 81 -- Percentage of successful stolen base attempts for the Mets.

    QUOTE TO NOTE: "I told them to get Dontrelle (Willis) and (Johan) Santana and everything will be all right." -- Mets LHP Tom Glavine's joking response when asked what advice he would tell the front office at the trade deadline.


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