The 2019 New York Mets bullpen was built with the hope that Jeurys Familia could give them quality innings late. For a successful year, they need him back healthy and more effective than he was before landing on the IL.
We all remember the joys of the 2015 New York Mets and Jeurys Familia was the backbone of the bullpen. He pitched to a 1.85 ERA and had 43 saves. Familia played a huge role in the Mets winning the 2015 National League pennant.
Unfortunately, ever since rejoining the Mets as a free agent in the offseason, Familia has been very disappointing. There have been some games where he has shown flashes of the 2015 Familia, but for the most part, he has had no command of his pitches and his walk rate is too high. If the Mets want to succeed this season, Familia is going to have to step up to the mound and start pitching better.
He needs to find his groove and get back to being the pitcher he once was. While it sounded good for the Mets to be able to go from Familia to Edwin Diaz in the 8th and 9th innings, the transition has not been smooth, and the bullpen has not been reliable.
Mickey Callaway said that he would not be using Diaz for more than three outs, allowing Familia to be the closer on some nights and even come in for more than three outs. Familia has not capitalized on his opportunities, and for fans, it has been a roller coaster ride every time he comes in.
Even when Familia comes in and does not give up any runs, he has to labor through the inning because he walked the leadoff hitter or loaded the bases. He has not made it easy for himself and that has shown in most of his outings. Once Familia starts the inning off poorly, he usually becomes rattled, which kills the rest of the inning for him.
Familia’s poor start to the season has led Callaway to lose a bit of confidence and even say that he could start to use Diaz for more than three outs.
Familia is on the IL at the moment with a sore shoulder, but it will be interesting to see what happens when he returns. It is easy to say that he should not be put in high leverage situations, but the Mets are limited in their options, especially if they want him to close on some nights.
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There should be no excuses. It is really plain and simple: Familia needs to be better if the Mets want to succeed the rest of the season. The organization, the teammates, and the fans need to be confident in bringing him into the game instead of wondering which Familia are we going to get today.