Sanchez not ready to go back-to-back
Right-hander will make next relief appearance on Sunday
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Duaner Sanchez needs to pitch on back-to-back days to make the Mets' Opening Day roster, but he's not willing to try just yet.
Though Sanchez said he felt "really, really good" after pitching a scoreless inning on Thursday night, he had no plans to attempt another outing on Friday. Instead, he'll pitch on Sunday against the Cardinals, then again next Wednesday against the Marlins. If he responds from the latter outing well, he said he would attempt -- pending the team's permission -- to then pitch back-to-back for the first time next Thursday.
Mets manager Willie Randolph has consistently stated that Sanchez won't make the roster if he can't pitch on back-to-back days. He confirmed that stance on Thursday.
"We want to go into the season [at] full strength," Randolph said. "I'd prefer for [Sanchez] to be ready to take on a regular load when the season starts."
Sanchez said he was pleased with his outing on Thursday night, facing four batters and throwing a total of only two breaking pitches. He's maintained all along that he was ready to attempt pitching on back-to-back days as soon as the Mets would allow it, though he backed off that stance a bit on Thursday.
"It's not a hurry to be ready for Opening Day," Sanchez said. "I don't want to be there for the first month and not be there for the next four or five. I want to be there for the whole season."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.