BASEBALL / DAILY REPORT : DODGERS : Pedro Martinez Has Them Baffled

After being favorably compared to his older brother during an impressive spring, Pedro Martinez has been showing his age at triple-A Albuquerque and will not be joining the major leagues in the near future.

The younger Martinez has baffled the Dodgers with both his pitching and his work habits.

Despite leading the Pacific Coast League with 37 strikeouts, Martinez is 2-2 with a 4.26 earned-run average and 19 walks in 38 innings.

Since throwing a two-hit shutout in the season opener against Las Vegas, he has gone 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA in five starts.

He has also not worked well with teammates during pregame drills.

He then upset the Dodgers by throwing pitches that led to a recent brawl with Calgary.

"He's been doing fine, but he needs to learn how to pitch," Albuquerque Manager Bill Russell said Friday. "He's finding out he can't blow everybody away in this league.

"He's going to pitch in the big leagues one day for sure, but right now he has to get used to this level."

Martinez said he merely needs to get more breaks.

"I'm pitching fine, I just need to get lucky," Martinez said. "I am pitching the same."

Jay Howell rejoined the team and declared he is ready to be activated for the first time this season. The Dodgers will watch him pitch on the side today before deciding. . . . The next big move in the Dodger farm system will probably be the promotion of catcher Mike Piazza from double-A to triple-A, increasing his chances of being called up before the end of the season. Piazza has seven home runs and 19 runs batted in in 102 at-bats for San Antonio.

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