Jeurys Familia rejoined the New York Mets this offseason in one of the team’s biggest signings. Unfortunately, even as the team soars, he’s one of the most untrustworthy pitchers they have.
I’m not sure anyone has had a more disappointing year on the New York Mets than Jeurys Familia. Even though I had my doubts about how he would perform, I didn’t imagine he would be this horrendous. He’ll be lucky to finish the year with an ERA anywhere near 5.00 and shouldn’t be trusted for any important innings until he proves he can throw strikes.
While Familia hasn’t gotten beaten up much in July, the Mets have used him wisely. A recent outing against the San Francisco Giants proved how little they trust him. After walking a pair of batters in the 11th inning, Familia was pulled from the game. Clearly, they have little faith in him. Good for them. Neither do the fans.
Where does this leave Familia? As Rising Apple’s Jose Rivera suggested during his IL stint earlier this year, the Mets need to ease him back into a setup role. They’ve done just that, keeping him away from high-leverage situations as much as possible.
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The good news is Familia isn’t the $10 million a year reliever the Mets are trying to hide in the bullpen. He’s making $6.66 million this year, allowing a little more wiggle room to excuse his lesser role in 2019.
Subconsciously, it’s more acceptable even if it’s a devilish total I could only dream of earning while stinking at my job.
Walks are what have gotten the best of Familia. Unlike other issues a struggling pitcher may face, control is something a little less excusable. There’s no juiced baseball to blame. Familia isn’t throwing strikes and it’s leading to a lost campaign.
One of the last times Familia pitched in the 8th inning or later with the Mets on top was his blown save against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 14. He took the mound several days later in the 7th inning where the Atlanta Braves whipped him around, too.
Since his return from the IL, his duties have been less important. He’s not getting $30 million reliever innings. He’s doing what we should expect Tyler Bashlor to do.
Much like his fellow Mets relievers, Familia has been better in the early part of August. He has pitched some clean innings, but none where there was much pressure at all. His ERA is back below 7.00 where we can only hope it never revisits again.
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Seth Lugo cannot carry the load by himself. It’s inevitable that Familia will get into a game where the Mets need him to come through with a scoreless inning. Hopefully, those chances are few and far between at least until we know for sure the old version of him has returned.