Notes: Pedro feeling better

Notes: Pedro feeling better

CHICAGO -- After going to Northwestern Hospital on Friday night, Pedro Martinez played long-toss in the outfield Saturday despite doctors saying he should avoid activity for a couple of days.

"I felt really weak," Martinez said. "The doctors told me I should wait at least two or three days to actually get going on doing something, but I felt better today so I took myself out a little bit and played catch."

Mets general manager Omar Minaya said Martinez's trip to the hospital followed the discovery that the pitcher had a fever after Friday night's game, but was more a precautionary measure than anything.

Martinez received an IV to replace fluids he had lost while suffering from a case of food poisoning over the All-Star break, and also had a CT scan to make sure his appendix wasn't the problem.

Martinez only stayed at the hospital for a few hours and Minaya said everything checked out fine.

"[The IV is] what made me feel better [Saturday]," Martinez said, "and I got good sleep. They gave me something for the nausea to go away."

Mets manager Willie Randolph said he was unsure when Martinez would be back on the mound, and that it depends on how the pitcher feels.

Randolph said Steve Trachsel would pitch Wednesday against Cincinnati and Tom Glavine would follow on Thursday. The Mets have an off-day on Monday that would allow them to forgo a fifth starter until their July 23 game against Houston at the latest.

"We're going to take our time," Randolph said. "We have no urgency in rushing anyone to come back."

Martinez, who had only eaten bread and fruit when Saturday's game ended, said he thinks he'll be back on the mound sooner rather than later.

"I'm pretty sure I'll get there soon," Martinez said. "I just need to start eating and that's hard to do for me."

Randolph said again that Martinez is going to need to build up some strength before he returns to the mound. Martinez has not pitched since June 28 and has been on the disabled list with soreness in his right hip.

Could Martinez's food poisoning be beneficial because it will give his hip even more rest?

"It could be a blessing in disguise, but to me not really because you still want him to be out on the mound keeping his regular routine going," Randolph said.

Martinez said on Friday that his hip feels much better after resting it and working out in water.

Beltran plays: While Jose Reyes was absent from the lineup again on Saturday, Carlos Beltran was back playing center field.

Beltran started on Friday, but left after a 45-minute rain delay at the end of the fifth inning because of soreness in his right knee. Beltran said he hurt the knee running to cut off a Derrek Lee double in the first inning.

Beltran said he felt better after icing the knee three times on Friday night.

"I'm just going to go out, move around and catch fly balls in the outfield and see how it feels," Beltran said. "If I feel like I can tolerate it, I'll stay in the game and if it feels like the pain from yesterday, then I'll let Willie [Randolph] know I don't feel good."

The switch-hitter said his knee would probably bother him hitting from the right side of the plate, but it shouldn't be a problem from the left side. The Mets faced a right-hander, Carlos Zambrano, on Saturday, which meant Beltran initially batted from the left side.

Meanwhile, Reyes missed his fifth straight game since a cleat sliced his left pinky finger on July 7.

Reyes took 20 groundballs Friday and said he would take more Saturday. He said he would also take harder throws while playing catch. Randolph said the most difficult thing for Reyes right now is closing his glove and that will be the biggest obstacle to his return.

Reyes still had seven stitches in his finger and did not know when they would come out, but said the doctors said he could play with them in.

Randolph said given the Mets' lead in their division right now, he's more apt to be cautious with Reyes. Reyes' enthusiasm, however, is making that a little difficult right now.

"I'm sure he could play if he had to," Randolph said. "With the off-day on Monday -- if he feels pretty good today -- I'll probably just give him off until Tuesday. He was driving us nuts yesterday on the bench just because he wanted to play. He's just one of those guys who has so much energy you just want to get him out of [the dugout]. ... So right now I'm going to feel like he's probably not going to play until Tuesday, but if he comes in here and drives me crazy enough to convince me to put him in there, then I'll see where he is."

Has Randolph thought about saving his sanity by putting Reyes in the bullpen?

"He'd drive those guys nuts, too," Randolph said. "There's not enough room down there. You couldn't hide from him."

Xavier Nady was also out of the lineup, but Randolph said that it was only to give Endy Chavez some playing time.

"Chavez hadn't played in eight or nine days and we've got two lefties coming up," Randolph said of the left-handed hitter. "Chavez is doing a great job for us and he's a big part of what we're going to do in the second half. I didn't want him sitting for 10 or 11 days."

Mets sign Alfonzo: The Mets signed Edgardo Alfonzo to a Minor League contract on Saturday and the infielder will report to Indianapolis to join Triple-A Norfolk on Monday.

Alfonzo, who played for the Mets from 1995-2002 and is third on the Mets all-time hits list, was playing with the Independent League Bridgeport Bluefish. He was 4-for-14 in four games as the team's designated hitter.

Tony Bernazard, the Mets' special assistant to the general manager, said the 32-year-old would play all over the infield.

"He's a good player," Bernazard said. "He still has a lot of baseball left and we just want to see him."

Alfonzo started the year with the Angels, batting just .100 in 18 games prior to his May 21 release. He then signed with the Blue Jays, playing 12 games and batting .162 before being released on June 12. Alfonzo batted .277 with two home runs and 43 RBIs in 109 games for the Giants in 2005.

On deck: Orlando Hernandez will start the final game of the Mets' three-game series against the Chicago Cubs at 6:05 p.m. ET on Sunday. Hernandez will face Chicago lefty Sean Marshall.

Ryan Crawford is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.