Sanchez excused for repeated lateness to rehab

Updated: March 9, 2007, 10:22 PM ET
Associated Press

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Duaner Sanchez is expected to meet with Mets manager Willie Randolph and GM Omar Minaya on Saturday after the New York reliever was dismissed from spring training camp.

Randolph sent Sanchez home on Thursday as punishment for repeated lateness while rehabilitating his right shoulder.

"He'll come in tomorrow," Randolph said Friday after a 9-5 loss to Detroit. "We'll sit down and talk and we'll go from there. He's had a couple days to think about where his priorities are."

The manager said the meeting would take place at 8 a.m. before the team leaves for Viera, Fla., to play the Washington Nationals. Randolph said he had not spoken with Sanchez since the pitcher was banished.

Sanchez was hurt in a taxi accident July 30 and had surgery to repair his separated shoulder. Before the injury, he was 5-1 with a 2.60 ERA while serving as a reliable setup man for closer Billy Wagner.

The Mets would like to have Sanchez back in that role, and the team hoped he would be ready by opening day. Randolph said Sanchez did not come to camp in great shape, but that wasn't his biggest concern.

"Sometimes you come to spring training, you work your way into shape," Randolph said. "Obviously, it's up to the individual to get himself into shape, but I don't look at any one individual guy and react to one individual guy. I see how he's coming."

Randolph said he doesn't take Sanchez's tardiness as a sign of personal disrespect. The manager also said he didn't know if Sanchez would need to address his teammates, though the dismissal might put him behind in his rehabilitation.

"It probably will a little bit," Randolph said. "There was nothing to say that he was going to be ready even if this didn't happen. So we'll wait and see when we get him back on the field and make an evaluation when that time comes."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press