Whenever Alex Sanabia needs a reminder of what it looks like when he is on top of his game, he watches the film from the dozen big-league starts he made for the Marlins in 2010.

“It was a great time for me — I was 21 and having fun,” said Sanabia, who made his first start of the spring Saturday against the Mets. “That’s what I want to get back to.”

Sanabia, who turns 25 on Sept. 8, is hoping he earns the opportunity to start for the Marlins — and shine — again this season. After being slowed by a strained elbow in 2011 and then spending the first half of the 2012 season in Triple A before straining his oblique, the 6-2, 205-pound right-hander entered this spring as one of five players with an opportunity to land the fifth spot in the starting rotation.

On Saturday, Sanabia tossed two scoreless innings in a 8-8 tie with the Mets at Tradition Field. He threw a total of 28 pitches for 16 strikes and produced four fly outs, a ground out and one strikeout.