Jeurys Familia continues to be a work in progress for the Mets

In his start against the Marlins last night, 22-year-old Mets prospect Jeurys Familia allowed one hit and six walks with three strikeouts in four innings, throwing just 33 of his 75 pitches for strikes.

“There’s work ahead and we knew there was going to be,” Collins said, pointing out that Familia walked too many batters despite not letting up a run. “We’ve got some things to do, but I will tell you it’s fun to work with young arms like that.”

Familia finished with a 5.84 ERA with nine walks and ten strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings.

“Jeurys did a nice job of getting out of trouble,” Terry Collins said of Familia after the game. “Again, we saw quality stuff.”

Familia went 9-9 with a 4.73 ERA in 28 starts for Triple-A Buffalo this season. He allowed 72 earned runs, 145 hits, 73 walks and eight home runs in 137 innings.

Michael Baron, Contributor

It’s unfair to get hung up on just one start, especially Familia’s first start in the big leagues when there are nerves and butterflies in play mentally. However, his start wasn’t unlike what he showed consistently with Buffalo this season in that he was very erratic, he got behind most of the hitters he faced, got only four swings and misses, and his tempo was uneven from start to finish.

As is the case with Jenrry Mejia, the stuff is most definitely there with Familia. In a way, they are almost identical in terms of where they are in their development: both are erratic with electric stuff, both need to refine their secondary pitches, and both of their roles are in question going forward. They both look like relievers, but both have spent the bulk of their professional careers starting. No matter, it was important to see (and potentially showcase) both Mejia and Familia this month so to determine how they might fit into this team’s plans for 2013 and beyond. I think their roles could be defined based on need, which as we’ve learned in the past with Mejia, isn’t the best course of action. Ultimately, a pitcher is more likely to succeed in a role he is most comfortable in, whether or not he profiles as a starter or reliever. How that all plays out with these guys both this winter and in camp come February will be fascinating to watch unfold.