Terry Collins ‘very close’ to naming Jeurys Familia Mets closer

Jeurys FamiliaAfter a dramatic 11th inning victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday, Terry Collins told reporters that he was close to making Jeurys Familia the closer.

Familia would already be the fourth different option used by the Mets after Bobby Parnell, Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth.

“Three days in a row, pounding the strike zone, throwing his breaking ball for strikes, the confidence is really mounting on him,” Collins said, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. “Yeah, he’s real close.”

Scouts have largely never doubted that Familia has the raw stuff to be a closer, but controlling that stuff has always been a challenge for him.

In a small sample last year, Familia walked 7.59 batters-per-nine innings, giving him an ugly 0.86 K:BB ratio.

This year, in another small sample, Familia has been markedly improved, cutting his walks down to 4.15 per-nine (still higher than you’d like to see), and upping his strikeouts some, cutting his season ERA to 3.15.

Familia has been especially good over his last nine appearances, where he’s allowed just one earned run to score on four hits across 9.2 innings.

With the way that the Mets bullpen has performed recently, giving Familia a greater role is a good idea.  But not a good idea in the sense of “He’s been so good that he’s forced our hand” but rather “He’s been good and everyone else has been atrocious.”

Valverde quickly remembered that he is Jose Valverde, and Farnsworth is doing Farnsworth-y things, like throwing straight fastballs right down the middle.  So what options are the Mets really left with?

They could call up Vic Black from Triple-A Las Vegas, but Black’s issues have been well documented, and really haven’t worked themselves out yet.

They could put Daisuke Matsuzaka in the rotation, bumping Jenrry Mejia and allowing him to inherit the closer’s role.

Or, they could give the job to Familia, who has earned it – if not by being good, but by at least not being bad.

Joe Vasile is the voice of the Fayetteville SwampDogs.

6 comments for “Terry Collins ‘very close’ to naming Jeurys Familia Mets closer

  1. George
    May 12, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Mejia in the eighth, and Familia closing? But would Sandy check off on this?

    • Patrick Albanesius
      May 12, 2014 at 11:09 am

      That is a very tantalizing scenario, but no I don’t see if happening soon. It could work beautifully though.

  2. TexasGusCC
    May 12, 2014 at 11:52 am

    Ok, the morons running the Mets have no tact whatsoever. Why not say we are going by committee instead of naming a young unproven kid with wildness as your closer? What if he walks a few guys in his first couple if outings, is he out? By “going by committee”, you can mix and match without naming anyone directly, but use Familia mostly. Thre years ago, the Didgers went this way with Kenley Jannsen. He was wild at first but they stuck with him.

    Is there anyone on this blog that feels the Mets will keep Familia in this role through thick and thin? Just go “by committee” so you can use other people without hurting development by demoting anyone if there is a speed bump. That gives the kid a chance to grow into the role, rather than throwing him to the wolves as soon as he has a few tough outings.

    • Metsense
      May 12, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      If a team doesn’t have a lights out closer then why designate one? In the NL the starting pitchers average 6 innings a start. Therefore you need three good relief pitchers for tie and hold/save situations. If you rotate your three best relievers through these innings then the saves would come as they may. Financially you won’t be inflating a salary on a useless stat as a save. Bullpen by committee makes sense to me.
      I know he was sick yesterday but why has Germen only pitched 2 1/3 innings since 4/25? Baffling!

  3. Name
    May 12, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Since the calender flipped to May, Familia’s been one of the few bright spots on the pitching staff.
    He’s found the control , 10/2 k/bb ratio, that eluded him in April. And the eye test supports his 1.17 May ERA as well. As long as he continues to throw strikes, he’s going to be solid out of the bullpen.

  4. Brett G
    May 13, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    Please stop naming closers and pitch whoever is rested and on a roll.

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