The Mets expect Martinez to be out for 4-6 weeks with a hamstring strain. Nelson Figueroa was brought up from Triple-A New Orleans to replace him on the roster.
Mike Pelfrey should pitch in Martinez’ spot in the rotation beginning on April 8th. Then I would have El Duque take the fifth spot in the rotation beginning April 12th. El Duque could replace Figueroa on the roster at that point.
Whoever it is that takes Pedro’s spot is walking into a difficult situation. Martinez was scheduled to pitch the last ever opening day at Shea Stadium. There’s a sense of organizational pride that goes along with that responsibility. It’s a big deal as much as the players will give us the one-liners about how “it’s just another game”.