Notes: Sanchez to meet with brass
Reliever has Saturday chat planned with Randolph, Minaya
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- The late Duaner Sanchez didn't make it to camp in time for the Friday workout, either. Nor was he supposed to. His enforced absence extended into a second day by decree of Willie Randolph, who intends to meet with Sanchez and general manager Omar Minaya on Saturday at 8 a.m. ET.
"It wouldn't be good [for Sanchez] to be late," the manager said. "That's for sure."
Randolph had sent Sanchez home Thursday because of what another player kiddingly said was "serial lateness." Later Thursday, Sanchez was told not to report Friday.
Randolph said he didn't consider Sanchez's lateness an affront to his authority, that he didn't take it personally and that the enforced absence -- the manager said it wasn't a suspension -- didn't affect Sanchez's readiness for the season.
"He wasn't going to be ready even if this didn't happen," Randolph said
At the same time, Randolph and others remained irritated by Sanchez's behavior. Julio Franco said he intends to speak with his teammate.
"We're all here to work," Franco said. "Just like when we all were helping Shawn Green the other day. It's one body, one mind, one goal for all of us."
Randolph said he wants to know "what [Sanchez's] priorities are."
A plus and two minuses: Rookie starter Philip Humber struggled Friday for the second time in two appearances this week. He allowed three runs in two innings -- the fourth and fifth -- in what became a 9-5 loss to the Tigers. Humber had allowed five runs in one inning Sunday.
John Maine pitched the first three innings, allowing three hits and a walk on his second appearance. Jon Adkins kept his spring ERA at 9.00 by allowing two runs in two innings.
Franco to rest wrist: Franco will miss a few days because of an inflamed tendon in his left wrist. He had the wrist X-rayed Friday after taking 12 swings in the cage and announcing, "It hurts like crazy." No structural damage was detected. An injection of cortisone followed the exam.
Franco said his wrist had been sore before Thursday but the pain became sharper after he caught a pickoff throw in the game.
Missing time irritates him as much as the inflammation.
"They told me to keep it wrapped and do nothing. How can I do nothing?" Franco said, before he went to the trainer's room to lift -- right hand and legs only.
Padilla ready to return: Nearly a year after he was introduced to Tommy John -- the procedure, not the former Dodgers and Yankees pitcher -- Juan Padilla is to return to competitive baseball. Padilla is scheduled to pitch Sunday, either in Lakeland against the Tigers or in Port St. Lucie against the Marlins. The anniversary of his undergoing reconstructive surgery on his right elbow is next Friday.
Padilla had hoped to return earlier this week, but he has thrown four batting practice sessions instead.
Carlos Delgado didn't play for the fourth straight game because of pain and stiffness in his neck. And he won't play Saturday when the Mets play the Nationals in Viera.
At first, a change: Perhaps all Green needed was to move to a different position. He did precisely that Friday with Delgado and Franco unavailable. The Mets' starting right fielder played first base and had two hits in four at-bats, one a run-scoring double to the wall in left-center in the eighth inning, his third hit in two days, his third hit of the spring and in what now is 22 at-bats, and his first extra-base hit.
Green played first in 12 games with the Diamondbacks last season, starting 10. He played two innings at first in one game with the Mets.
How to make a Gold Glove: Padilla is no fool. If you're going to have someone break in a glove, why not have a Gold Glove winner do it? With Ron Darling (1989 Gold Glove winner) and Keith Hernandez (1978-88) no longer in the business of defense, Padilla turned to Carlos Beltran, who last year became the second Mets outfielder to win a Gold Glove. Tommie Agee was the first, in 1970.
So Beltran went to work Friday. His procedure was this: He microwaved the glove for two minutes. (Honest, that's what he did. And Padilla's glove is quite small, the size second basemen usually use. And it wasn't overcooked.)
After the glove had cooled, Beltran sat with a bat -- barrel up -- between his thighs and repeatedly pounded the pocket of the glove against the top of the bat -- 40, maybe 50 times. Then he tightened the laces dramatically to accommodate Padilla's preference.
Two more things. Don't oil the glove before it's cooked. The leather will crack, Beltran said. And, most important: Practice, practice, practice.
Gold Glove II: Delgado wanted his first baseman's mitt broken in. He gave it to third-base coach Sandy Alomar Sr., who essentially beat the stiffness out of it with a hard rubber mallet made expressly for that purpose. No microwave, no lanolin or shaving cream, as Hernandez used, just legalized assault and battery on leather.
Alomar has experience in the process. He broke in gloves for his son Roberto, who won 10 Gold Gloves at second base in the American League, and also for Hall of Famer second baseman Joe Morgan, who won five.
Morgan had Alomar break in a glove in 1967, and each year thereafter, though they never were teammates, he had Alomar break in two.
"He'd send me three and tell me to keep one," Alomar said.
A suite deal, made sweeter: One of the provisions in the seven-year, $119 million contract Beltran signed two years ago guarantees him use of "the best available 15-person luxury suite at all home games."
Problem is Jessica, his wife, prefers to sit in the stands. So Beltran has purchased six season tickets. His seats are near the visitors' on-deck circle. The price is nearly $80,000.
The suite goes to good use, though. Beltran makes arrangements for underprivileged children to use it.
More cuts: A day after the in-camp roster was trimmed, Darling got chopped. So did Lastings Milledge, who shed his braids in another act of conformity. And Paul Lo Duca, wanting to conceal the gray that becomes more apparent when his hair is longer, planned a barber session, too.
Mike Pelfrey never thinks twice about his hair. At 23, he has no thin areas. But when he was seated Friday -- he's 6-7, so he must be seated -- a clubhouse visitor noticed Pelfrey's scalp was quite evident through matted hair on the top of his head.
He was nothing short of alarmed and vowed to wear his cap until he could get an opinion for an impartial party.
"If it is, I'll do anything," Pelfrey said. "Plugs, whatever it takes."
In a word: Franco, Delgado, Beltran and batting coach Rick Down worked with Green on Wednesday. Green called it "an intervention."
Coming up: The Mets begin their bus purgatory Saturday when they make the 80-minute drive to play the Nationals in Viera (72 miles one-way). Oliver Perez is to make his third spring start, beginning at 1:05 p.m. ET, opposite Tim Redding. It will be Mets' first exposure to the team now managed by Manny Acta, their third-base coach in Randolph's first two years.
The subsequent four days include two treks to Lakeland (130 miles one-way), another to Viera and one to Winter Haven (115 miles).
Marty Noble is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.