“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.
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.