An option for the opener
The Mets have already discussed the possibility of using openers in 2020. I don’t think it will be a common occurrence, but I do think there’s a really good chance we see it happen at least once.
In the early talks, it seems the team would use it during the fifth spot in the rotation. Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo are the pair mentioned as potential options before either Steven Matz or Michael Wacha enter the game. Why not consider Familia?
Lugo has no business in baseball as an opener. If he’s on the mound in the first inning, he has to be a starter. His innings are far too valuable.
Gsellman is a little different. But because he has started in the past, I would like to have him available for more than one inning.
Familia is a traditional reliever and someone the Mets could and should actually consider as an opener if this is the direction they got. I understand it’s unfamiliar territory for him. But isn’t the whole idea of an opener strange to just about everyone?
I’m not confident enough to predict we actually see Familia open games for the Mets in 2020. I do envision a scenario where he becomes a viable option.
As one of the relievers in the bullpen we wouldn’t want to see go more than an inning at a time, it makes much more sense to use him early. Who knows what can happen? Maybe the Mets stumble onto something great like when Jim Carrey started doing serious roles.
For a bonus prediction, I think Familia ends up with at least one save this year. Last season was the first time since 2012 when he tossed just 12.1 innings that didn’t feature one from him. I see an unplanned new streak beginning in 2020.
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What do you expect from Familia in 2020?