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.