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Mets: How will Jeurys Familia fare in 2016?

glennjbrewer
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Familia had a tremendous 2015 after taking over for Jenrry Mejia, who had been suspended

Jeurys Familia‘s first year as a closer was a successful one, with him throwing a career-high 78 innings while saving 43 games — tying Armando Benitez for the club’s season save’s record. So what’s in store for Familia in 2016?

Starting the 2015 season, the Mets expected Jenrry Mejia to be the closer, with Bobby Parnell potentially jumping in if Mejia faltered. Familia was in the mix for the back end of the bullpen, but never a favorite for the closer role. That all changed when Mejia was suspended for testing positive for illegal performance enhancing drugs.

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In 2016, the Mets shouldn’t rely on Familia to get saves of more than three outs regularly, and the acquisition of Antonio Bastardo should help in that regard. And the other late-inning relievers, likely Addison Reed and Hansel Robles, will need to provide Familia with more support on a consistent basis.

I do not expect Familia to take a step back after the World Series, where he gave up a game-tying home run in Game 1 but was done in by his defense and bad luck in Games 4 and 5.

Familia has the makeup and the stuff to be a dominant closer for many years to come. However, I believe Familia will take a small step back statistically in 2016.

FanGraphs’ projection system has Familia pegged to pitch 65 innings with 34 saves and a 3.16 ERA. While I moderate drop-off from Familia’s stellar 2015 should arguably be expected, I believe this to be too steep. In my non-scientific projection, I think Familia will save between 36 and 38 games while posting an ERA of 3.01. And although his workload should be lower this season, Familia will reach the 70 innings mark again.

Next: The Mets will use a sixth starter at times in 2016

All in all, Familia will take a small step back in 2016, but will continue to cement his role as closer while helping to lead the Mets to another successful campaign.

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