WASHINGTON (AP) – A “banged up” Pedro Martinez probably will be shut down for the rest of the season, New York Mets manager Willie Randolph said Friday.

Martinez is next set to start Tuesday, and Randolph said: “If we’re mathematically eliminated by then, then he definitely won’t pitch.”

The Mets were 75-77 heading into Friday night’s game at the Washington Nationals, last in the NL East and eight games behind Houston in the wild-card standings with 10 games left in the season.

“We have to look at the big picture, and we have to be wise in how we handle not only him, but any player,” general manager Omar Minaya said. “The big picture is we want Pedro pitching for us the next couple of years.”

Martinez is 15-8 with a 2.82 ERA and has thrown 217 innings in his first season in New York. He signed a $53 million, four-year contract with the Mets in the offseason after helping the Boston Red Sox win the World Series.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner threw 244 innings in 2004, including the postseason.

He’s dealt with a variety of injuries this season, the most bothersome right now being a toe problem. Minaya said there was nothing that would require surgery, and both he and Randolph referred to Martinez as “banged up.”

“There’s nothing wrong with his arm. It’s probably a combination of a lot of things, and the fact that over the last two years he’s thrown a lot of innings,” Randolph said. “It’s nothing serious to the point where you have to worry about anything. It’s just a matter of when you have an investment like him, you want to make sure you don’t run the risk.”

In his last outing, a 2-1 loss to Florida on Thursday, Martinez was on a pitch count and left the game after five innings and 75 pitches.

“I’m OK for this time of year,” Martinez said after that game. “This is the time of year where you need actually a little rest. I’ve pitched a lot. Willie’s my man. He knows how I am when I’m totally fine and when I am not.”

Randolph said he wasn’t sure who would take Martinez’s slot in the rotation if the right-hander doesn’t pitch again.

Both the manager and GM praised Martinez’s performance this season, saying he’s pitched as well or better than expected.


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