Notes: Anderson, Easley good to go
Backups had been slotted to play Thursday's canceled game
VIERA, Fla. -- Two Mets backups are back up to health, and that's reason to rejoice. For a team trudging onward with the majority of its starting lineup incapable of playing, every healthy body has become critical at this juncture of spring.
So the fact that Marlon Anderson and Damion Easley, two of the team's most versatile and essential bench players, both felt well enough on Thursday to make their Grapefruit League debuts was no small boost. Anderson had been recovering from a bruised sternum -- a result of his outfield crash with Ryan Church last week -- and Easley was still healing from the severely sprained left ankle that caused him to miss the end of last season.
Both are now well enough to contribute, and well enough to play in as many Grapefruit League games as their lingering injuries will allow. Manager Willie Randolph didn't anticipate taking either player on Friday's trip to Winter Haven, Fla., though Thursday's canceled game could change his plans. Healthy bodies can do that.
"It's been a funny camp," Easley said. "I don't think I've ever been part of a camp that had so many injuries. I guess if you play long enough, you'll see some stuff you've never seen before."
Weekend warrior: Reliever Duaner Sanchez expected to pitch in a Grapefruit League game by the weekend after spending the entirety of this week idling on a program of long-toss and bullpen sessions. Sanchez hasn't pitched in a game since last Friday with what he calls "normal soreness."
Sanchez wouldn't acknowledge what, if any, effect the delays will have on his ability to be ready by Opening Day. The Mets first want to see him pitch in back-to-back Spring Training games, though there may not be enough time remaining for him to stretch his arm to that extent.
"What about we take it step by step, how about that?" Sanchez said. "I don't want to say yes, I don't want to say no. But yes, I'm doing everything I can to be there in the first game."
Church's bells no longer ringing: Church began taking motion-sickness medicine after his visit to the neurologist on Wednesday, and has since seen reduced symptoms from his Grade 2 concussion. He said that he still experienced bouts of dizziness early Thursday morning, but nothing more.
Only when Church remains free of symptoms for two consecutive days will doctors clear him to play.
Delgado inching closer: Carlos Delgado took batting practice on Thursday, facing live pitching for the first time since reporting an impingement in his right hip last week.
"Every day is a test," Delgado said. "It is a progression."
Delgado noted that his batting practice sessions on Thursday and Friday would be keys toward determining his availability throughout the next week. He could return as soon as this weekend.
"Like everything else, I'm just waiting until he gives me a head's-up on when he's ready to go," Randolph said. "It's not smart to put pressure on guys to get in unless they say they want to go."
Shoo, shoe: Infielder Ruben Gotay shed his protective boot on Thursday to participate in pool workouts and ride a stationary bike -- the only lower-body exercises he can safely perform while recovering from a sprained right ankle.
He will still wear the boot at times, though he doesn't need it to walk normally.
"I don't feel comfortable with it," Gotay said. "So I don't always wear it."
Mets bits: Catcher Brian Schneider expected his tight right hamstring to be well enough for him to play on Saturday, in the team's next home game. Schneider said that it's easier for him to keep the hamstring loose with the exercise equipment available to him at Tradition Field. ... The Mets made their first round of cuts on Thursday, re-assigning top pitching prospects Jonathan Niese, Brant Rustich and Robert Parnell to Minor League camp. The team planned to reveal an official list of cuts on Friday.
Coming up: Oliver Perez will make his second Grapefruit League start on Friday in a 1:05 p.m. ET game against the Indians in Winter Haven. The Mets originally intended to use relievers Matt Wise and Pedro Feliciano in the game, though Thursday's scheduled relievers, Billy Wagner and Aaron Heilman, could also pitch. Lefty Cliff Lee will start for the Indians.
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.