Jeurys Familia 2 (Baron)

Mets closer is up in the air, decided game by game

6:00 p.m.: Jeurys Familia, Jenrry Mejia and Diasuke Matsuzaka are all closer candidates, Terry Collins said on Tuesday.


4:15 pm: The Mets do not have a set closer, Collins told reporters before Tuesday’s game.

According to Collins, he will decide the night’s closer on a game-by-game basis, choosing between Kyle Farnsworth, Jose Valverde, Jeurys Familia and Daisuke Matsuzaka.


3:35 pm: In his return to the bullpen on Monday, Mejia recorded the final out of the seventh inning and also tossed a scoreless eighth inning. Collins talked earlier in the day with Mejia about switching roles. Mejia told him, while he’ll always want to be a starting pitcher, he’s happy to be pitching in the big leagues and he’ll do whatever he need to do to help the team win.


This past weekend, Collins said he is close to making Familia the team’s closer.

Familia, 24, has allowed one run and three hits, while striking out 10, in his last 7 2/3 innings, dating back to May 1, during which opposing hitters are batting .121 against him.

“Three days in a row, pounding the strike zone, throwing his breaking ball for strikes, the confidence is really mounting on him,” Collins said (ESPN, May 11). “Yeah, he’s real close.”

Michael Baron, Contributor

Familia struggled to throw strikes the first month of the season. He was falling behind in the count and becoming very predictable. In short, he wasn’t pitching like he did during Spring Training.

However, he made an adjustment at the start of this month and he has been dominant since…


The last few weeks, he has been able to pound his sinker in towards right-handed hitters; and, because of its deadly movement down and in, he’s been able to get the opposition to chase at a very high rate. He’s now getting ahead in the count more often than he was at the beginning of the season.

The way he’s throwing, Familia is a logical choice to eventually serve as the team’s closer. I still think he has work to do to earn the role. But, remember, 10 days ago, he wasn’t even part of the late-inning formula. He’s a big kid who can develop a mound presence, comes over the top real well and can throw a devastating sinker when he’s on. Similar to Mejia, the question remains whether or not Familia can handle a prominent relief role and get amped up mentally to be successful at closing games out. In the meantime, there’s no harm in finding out if he can do the job, especially since there is so much uncertainty up and down the bullpen.




103 comments
Darrell Smith
Darrell Smith

Our bp sucks because no RP knows what there role is , therefor they cannot properly prepare mentaly . Rp need to know what there roles are.

Eddie_Dean
Eddie_Dean

The Mets are the perfect example of how the whole, "You HAVE to have a closer" mentality in baseball today can ruin a bullpen. Or at least make a bad bullpen worse. When a team has a real good closer that you should be able to trust in just about any situation, then yes, it's great to have him in that defined role and I believe it helps out the rest of the pen. But when you don't have a guy who fits that profile (as the Mets' don't right now imo), trying to force a square peg into a round hole and designate one just makes an already suspect pen worse. When you've got a pen like the Mets, it's always been my opinion that Terry would be better served by going back to more of an "old school" mentality. By that I mean, if you put a guy out there in the 7th and he pitches real well, the leave him in for the 8th for heaven's sake! You know you struck gold and actually dipped into your bad pen and pulled out a gem, why throw that away just to roll the dice again? Basically, if I was Terry my mentality with my pen would be this: I'm not pulling a reliever until one of three things happens: 1. He's ineffective 2. I have to pinch hit for him in a key situation or 3. The other team's batted around and he'd have to face a batter for a second time in the game. Innings be-darned, pitch counts be-darned. I'll give him a couple days off and not use him if I have to. Basically the mentality is to not just manage innings, but mange appearances also. Drain every good appearance you get out of each of your bullpen pitchers for all it's worth. If Valverde gets the first two batters out in an inning easy, for the love of god don't bring in Scott Rice just because the next guy up is a lefty!


The way he does it though, the same guys make a million appearances and their arms wear out. And since the bullpen's always up in the late innings, guys are getting warmed up a million times too, even if they don't get into the game. That's not usually tracked, but that stresses an arm also.

PJ Windle
PJ Windle

Either sounds good to me. 8th and 9th for that tandem.

Macacawitz
Macacawitz

Closers don't belong up in the air.  They should either be in the bullpen or on the mound.  Even Cardinals and Blue Jays should avoid being up in the air, and they have an excuse.  

metjetnet
metjetnet

If the back end becomes Valverde > Familia, does that make it "Vanilia"?

mets2891
mets2891

It sounds like we should have about 4 or 5 blown saves before Terry wakes up and realizes that he has a closer in Mejia.  This is always fun.

Not4Nutten
Not4Nutten

And the Closer of the Day is Fat Dan Warthen!!!!!!!

hankypanky
hankypanky

Hmm. I see the great minds have decided who the closer is, although nobody in the organization knows. Shaky bullpen? No problem. Just pick a name out of a hat and there you have it. Here's a revolutionary thought: platoon the starter role and let's see who comes up the winner.p

hankincolo
hankincolo

Here's how Terry will decide his closer. 

He'll get Jennry, Familia, Valverde, Dice-K (w, his interpreter) and Farnsworth alone in a room. Then he'll put on an old scratchy 45 recording. 

They'll hear.... "you put your right foot in, you foot your right foot out." Farnsworth will do it, but Jenrry, Familia and Valverde will ask each other in Spanish, WTF? 

oh, and Dice-K's interpreter will be ROFL.     

heynow20
heynow20

Meija - Closer

Familia - 8th

DeGrom - 7th

Dice-k - long reliever when a starter gets shelled and needs to leave early

Rice/Torres/Germen - 5th inning/6th inning/7th inning options depending on lefty/righty and also to spell the top guys when too many days pitching in a row

Andrew Sodergren
Andrew Sodergren

Regarding closer situation: Think Terry is just taking some pressure off Familia here, or at least that better be the case. I can't see how Valverde or Farnsworthless would close given their recent performances in the role. Farnsworth was so lucky last night that Tex couldn't run on what would have been a double and that Duda snared that smash by McCann. I actually like Valverde over Farnsworth of late, but don't really like either guy, especially in the 9th. Don't think Dice-K would be an option because it takes him forever to warm up and he's better suited for multiple-inning stints.

BiggieTKB
BiggieTKB

Can Wilmer Flores pleae get 4 ABs a night? Why do I have to look at Abreu DHing?

free Flo

anymos
anymos

People need to relax.  I think its a matter of not wanting to hand the job to Familia just yet.  I think its sort of like training wheels on a bike.  They'll feed him some opportunities slowly and make sure he's comfortable before making it official.  Thinking about the worst case scenario- what if they say he's the closer and the first time out he walks the park?  Let him grab the role and run with it.

stage52
stage52

Remember someone else has to go down to clear a roster spot for Montero. Geman is on the DL for the deGrom slot.   I wonder who gets DFA'd  Farnsworth, Valverde or Abreu.?

Marc Singleton
Marc Singleton

The Mets lead mlb in demonstrating how to NOT do things. So....we're number one at something.

Andrew Sodergren
Andrew Sodergren

@moep Not sure if this is true, but a poster below said Tejada is playing himself back into starting shortstop, according to Brainless Collins. If this is true, let me get this straight. They give Flores two games and Tejada the entire year (plus last year's suckitude). He has two non-sucky games, and now he's starting again? You can't make this stuff up......

hankincolo
hankincolo

@hankypanky my solution below is much more creative.  ;0)



Michael Rega
Michael Rega

Couldn't agree more. It makes so much sense so we'll have to wait at least another month before the Mets figure it out. Mejias stuff plus makeup makes him best closer option on the team.

Andrew Sodergren
Andrew Sodergren

@heynow20 Familia will probably get first crack at closer before Mejia (think they'll let Jenrry ease into bullpen role).but I like this thinking. Torres and Germen also give them guys who can throw multiple innings if need be.

heynow20
heynow20

Wonder why they would bat Grandy 4th last night and 5th tonight?

BringBackDaveTelghe
BringBackDaveTelghe

@Andrew Sodergren Great points.  I'm happy TC saw what everyone else did.  Despite Farnsworth getting a "SV" next to his name, he was terrible.

Familia should get the next shot, but just ease him into the role.

Andrew Sodergren
Andrew Sodergren

@moep He had better be, because if he's not and Terry won't play him, they should just send him right back down to minors and get everyday ABs.

Andrew Sodergren
Andrew Sodergren

@BiggieTKB I know Flores was sick, but if he feels better, he should be in the lineup. Or else he should be back in AAA getting everyday ABs. I don't care that Tejada has hit a few balls hard last couple games, the guy isn't very talented. Not saying Flores is the answer necessarily, just that they should play him over Tejada until a better option presents itself via trade.

Brian Webster
Brian Webster

@stage52 Perhaps the DeGrom call up is just a 1 day thing and he'll be sent back down to AAA to bring Montero up

hankincolo
hankincolo

@stage52

The real story of how room was made for Jacob. 

 

Sandy: Terry, Katz is thinking of getting out, Fred's getting nervous, thinks he might lose majority control. 

Terry: What can I do?

Sandy: It's simple, we're going to bring up DeGrom. Get the fans excited, just like with Montero... try to fill up the ballpark tomorrow night. 

Terry: Yeah, but Sandy I can't dress 26 guys. 

Sandy: oh c'mon you've been around this game long enough, isn't somebody walking around there with a pulled muscle, or something?

Terry: Well uh, not really... oh wait a minute, I think I just heard something. Somebody's walking by....

Terry: Hey Gonzalez, Gonzalez Germen, do me a favor, sneeze a little. 

Terry: You know, say, AH-choo... and make it loud. 

Gonzalez: uh, o.k. skipper. 

Gonzalez ((thinking to himself)) "muy loco hombre."

Gonzalez: AH-choo!

Terry: Gonzalez, I think you better take a seat, you don't look so hot. 

Terry to Sandy: Sandy, problem solved!

     

11gilkey
11gilkey

@stage52  Well its not going to be Abreu, unless they plan on going with a 4 man bench and an 8 man bullpen, but I don't see that happening.  Germen is not due to come off for another week, so a lot can happen between now and then.  I expect Valverde to get released tomorrow when Montero is activated.  They won't make a decision until Germen is due to come off.  

Tarheel11
Tarheel11

@stage52  Gotta be Valverde I would think. He never uses the guy so why keep him here

hankincolo
hankincolo

@hankypanky Not at all, it's simply a case of, cultural lost in translation. Seriously doubt they do it in Japan, maybe in Latin countries. 

Heck, the last time I did the hokey pokey, many, many decades ago, I was probably 8 at some kid's birthday party. 


heynow20
heynow20

Your prob right on Familia but I feel like Meija's mental make-up is better suited for the closer role than Familia.  Although right now its all an experiment either way...

metsfanman
metsfanman

@heynow20  Righty pitching last night, lefty tonight (Granderson generally hits righties better than lefties).

Andrew Sodergren
Andrew Sodergren

@hankincolo @stage52Good stuff, but Germen was probably going to be DL'ed anyway because it had been reported he was so sick he might need a hospital visit. Seems like a nasty flu is going around the clubhouse.

stage52
stage52

@Victor Triguero @stage52 I think  German has earned his spot on in the BP.  I think Abreu is a waste of time and not really part of this teams future.I do not like Farnsworth.  He lives too much in the middle of the plate now and  his fast ball fools nobody.  If not for the´good play by Duda last night we might have been looking at another blown save and loss

Andrew Sodergren
Andrew Sodergren

@stage52 @heynow20I agree that Mejia will likely get a shot at some point. Just think Familia will get first crack at it since he's been throwing so well and is accustomed to being in the pen since he's been there for a few years now. Either way, the 8th/9th has lockdown potential with those two guys, as long as they're throwing strikes (particularly in Familia's case).

stage52
stage52

@heynow20 I agree with that but I think Meija has the mental makeup for a closer.  He does luv the spotlight

Andrew Sodergren
Andrew Sodergren

@stage52 @Victor TrigueroWell bench players by nature aren't really parts of teams' future, that's why they vary so much year to year. Abreu will be fine. When he came up he was hitting the ball hard every time up after destroying AAA pitching. He's cooled off recently, but I think he'll get it going again and is eons better than some of the guys they've had coming off bench recently (Baxter, Satin, etc.). Now if he's slumping in late June or July still, we can revisit.