Castro catches Pedro's return

Castro catches Pedro's return

SAN FRANCISCO -- Ramon Castro was the Mets catcher Tuesday night when Pedro Martinez made his return. Make of that what you will. Brian Schneider was not the catcher as much as he would have liked to be with Martinez pitching. Make of that what you will. Schneider made little of it.

Willie Randolph maintains he has no intention of establishing a platoon with Castro, the right-handed hitter, and Schneider, the left-handed hitter. And Schneider says he doesn't think much about sharing the assignment that is his; nor should he given his manager's reasoning.

Castro could have been the catcher if only because the opposing starter was left-handed -- Barry Zito. He could have been the starter if only because, with right-handed Matt Cain starting for the Giants on Wednesday, Schneider would be better off starting the second of the two remaining games against the Giants. Chances are he wouldn't have started both, not with the second one scheduled for 12:45 p.m. PT and following a night game.

But the determining factors were as follows: John Maine is scheduled to pitch Wednesday, and Randolph believes Schneider is better equipped to keep Maine focused. That Schenider probably would have sat out one of the two games anyway, and that the right-handed starter, Cain, was to start made the decision quite easy for the Mets manager.

Marty Noble is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.