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Phils watch Pedro's simulated game

Phils watch Pedro's simulated game

PHILADELPHIA -- The Pedro Watch continues.

A Phillies source said team officials watched right-hander Pedro Martinez throw three innings in a simulated game Friday afternoon at the organization's academy in the Dominican Republic.

Phillies assistant to the general manager Charley Kerfeld watched Martinez pitch Tuesday. The club then requested a second session with Martinez to see how his arm responded. Contrary to a report, Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. was not in attendance Friday. He is in Philadelphia.

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The source would not say what the Phillies thought about Martinez's second performance. But if they came away impressed and remained interested in signing him, they would require Martinez take a physical.

If Martinez takes a physical and passes it, he could agree to a contract with Philadelphia as early as next week.

"I feel the best I have for some time," Martinez told The Associated Press on Thursday.

The Phillies have been looking for starting pitching help for most of the season. Their rotation has a 5.06 ERA, which is 15th in the National League. A baseball source told MLB.com on Thursday night that signing Martinez would not prevent the Phillies from continuing to pursue Blue Jays right-hander Roy Halladay in a trade. In fact, they plan to pursue Halladay whether they sign Martinez or not.

Martinez is a three-time American League Cy Young Award winner, but he went 5-6 with a 5.61 ERA with the Mets last season. He pitched for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic.

The Phillies don't need a fifth starter again until July 20 against the Cubs because of the All-Star break, but because Martinez hasn't pitched this season, he likely would need to pitch in the Minor Leagues before he could pitch in the Majors.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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