Pedro makes next step toward return

Updated: July 29, 2009, 9:31 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Pedro Martinez arrived at the Philadelphia Phillies' Triple-A outpost in Lehigh Valley on Tuesday and threw a 59-pitch bullpen session.

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Although the Philllies haven't announced his schedule, it's believed he's on target to pitch Friday for Lehigh Valley against Columbus. If all goes well, he could join the Phillies' rotation as early as next week.

"I hope that if everything goes well, that will be my last step," Martinez said, according to the Philadelphia Daily News. "I'm looking forward to making the next one, on Friday, the last one."

Martinez, on the disabled list with a mild shoulder strain, said he felt good after Tuesday's bullpen session.

"I went out there, I was free, easy, and [had] no soreness at all," he said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Perfect, perfect. I couldn't ask for a better day."

Information from ESPN.com's Jayson Stark was used in this report.