Familia Could Replace Farnsworth As Mets Closer

jeurys familia mmo

It seems like eons since the Mets were back in Spring Training given all the ups and downs we’ve endured during the first two months of the regular season.

One of the players I was very excited about for the upcoming 2014 season, was starter-turned-reliever, Jeurys Familia.

The hard-throwing 24-year old came into camp fresh off a dominating performance in Winter Ball that had more than one scout raving about his 103 MPH fastball.

Two weeks into Mets camp, I wrote that Familia “was quickly establishing himself as the most lethal weapon the Mets will have in the pen this season.”

“While Bobby Parnell and Vic Black get most of the limelight,  the rising star in this bunch is Familia.”

When Familia is on the mound and throwing strikes, he is virtually unhittable. And on those few occasions when opposing batters do make contact, his sinker as well as his slider which has a downward motion, keeps most of his batted balls on the ground.

Familia is an imposing presence and when he hurls his 6-foot-4, 230 pound frame towards home plate and that ball flies out of his hand it’s a daunting task for hitters to square up against him.

The Dominican native also possesses a swagger that you want to see in a late-inning reliever. “When I see a hitter step into the batter’s box, it’s time for me to get serious and go after them,.” Familia said back in March.

Given his impressive skill set, his strong build, and that quiet confidence, I predicted that he would eventually become the team’s closer by 2015.

It now looks like he’s evolved much quicker than even I expected.

After another impressive outing on Sunday that featured 1.2 scoreless innings, Terry Collins suggested that Familia could take over as the team’s closer and replace Kyle Farnsworth.

“He’s getting closer,” Collins told beat writers. “Three days in a row, pounding the strike zone, throwing his breaking ball for strikes, the confidence is really mounting on him. Yeah, he’s real close.”

In his last nine appearances, Familia has allowed only one earned run on four hits, with three walks and 11 strikeouts in 9.2 innings.

I can’t begin to tell you how exciting it is to see how quickly he’s evolved right before our very eyes. He’s become a force to be reckoned with.

After throwing 4.1 innings in the last three days, I doubt we’ll see Familia on Monday against the Yankees. But it would be so cool to see him earn a save during one of the four Subway Series games. If it happens, that sound you’ll hear will be me cheering him on.

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I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73, '00 and '15, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction and interact with other passionate Met fans like you. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
  • “If it happens, that sound you’ll hear will be me cheering him on.”
    Me Too, Joe

  • Bobby O

    The front of the pen might indeed turn into an electric strength later this season with this guy, Mejia, Black and maybe deGrom too. I think Kyle, Papa Grande and The Dice Man are just buying some time for the young guns.


    No one knows how Familia will pitch with the game on the line, until we put him there. Clutch. Does he have it. I hope so. Better than running the has beens out there night after night.

  • wilponzi

    I would be somewhat ok if we had vets who were still good closing, pitching, and playing in good situations, because I do not want the Mets to play all of their young players and become the Astros. But you can’t use washups like Farnsworth and Valverde over young guys like Familia. Glad to see him succeeding and I hope we’re saying “Bobby who?” by the end of the season.

  • Guest

    DFA this scrub Valverde for god sake. DFA Farnsworth while you are at it. Bring up Black, put Mejia in the pen and Familia as closer they might actually have the workings of a big league bullpen instead of this retirement home for washed up scrubs that sandy has now

  • Joey D.

    Hi Guys,

    Off topic, but in case anyone is interested, Connor and I are still continuing our discussion about Sandy Alderson on the “Sandy Alderson Staying Afloat” thread.
    You’ll have to scroll down a lot to catch up with the latest.

    Would hate to think all my writing is being followed by just the two of us (hint, hint). LOL

  • You and Connor? I’m afraid to look. 🙂

  • billpulsipher

    Marlins designated Carlos Marmol for assignment. apparently the only GM that doesnt designate washed up relievers for assignment is Alderson

  • Joey D.

    Hi Joe D.,

    Sometimes life calls for us to look deep inside of us to gather all the courage we can muster. This certainly will be one of those times LOL.

    Don’t worry, it’s not world war three – completely cordial.

  • You know what I like about you Joey? That for one of the most senior commenters in our community, you have always treated our youngest writer with the same respect as anyone else. I wish others would follow your classy behavior.

  • Joey D.

    Hi Wilponzi,

    But imagine if Bobby “who” (gather you don’t mean Ojeda) can come back from TJ surgery sometime next season? Him and Familia would make some great late inning tandem. Not quite like Valverde/Farnsworth, but still…. 🙂

  • Joey D.

    Hi Joe D.,

    You know, I really am touched by that, I really do mean it. Thank you.

    Besides, one should always encourage one spreading his or her wings – not discourage them. Showing polite but firm disagreement is the best way to accomplish that.

  • Dave The Mets Fan

    Well, since he’s been announced as the latest closer du jour, we can expect him to be pitching middle relief until he’s announced as such, at which time he’ll become a starter before being optioned to Las Vegas.

  • TheMets philosophy

    Wait, is Familia 35??!

  • mets4lyfe

    Jeurys will get his chance under Collins when he’s 38 and making a comeback after 2 years removed from the MLB.

  • TexasGusCC

    I’ve always liked Familia. He, Tapia, Black, deGrom, and Parnell can be a terrific bullpen. Throw in Walters and Leathersich and it can be lights out very soon.

    Whenever we hear (but cannot really believe all we hear in Metsville) about a young player getting an opportunity, it seems like the angels singing to the fans. If only the Mets would care about their younger players alot sooner, rather than when it is their last resort.

  • derek murphy

    What u dont get is he pitches great yesterday gets 5 in a row walks 1 guy and gets pulled for the lefty. Famillia should be able to pitch to both. He says he’s considering for closer but yanks vs lefty. Rice is a bum as far as I’m concerned but he can’t pitch every day how often dowe he come in and put first lefty on bench? Have some faith in ur players TC.

  • BCleveland3381

    For as much crap as the mets deservedly get I think they’ve actually handled familia the right way. A lot of people were calling for him to be our closer after Parnell went down, but I think he needed some low stress work before getting plugged into that closer role. He looks to be ready and hopefully he is the next man up if farnsworth struggles.

  • derek murphy

    I can’t remember people wanting him to close when Parnell went down. He was so wild at the end of ST and begining of season was worse. He was closer to going down at the begining of the season. He had some tough games.

  • derek murphy

    At the begining of ST when he came out firing I remember reading articles about him being top or one of top young guys to be heir apparent. He pitched way to wildly to put himself in contention though. After first few outings he looked closer to vegas than closer.

  • oleosmirf

    Familia as the closer would be disastrous. He finally starts getting things together and now you’d want to risk all that by throwing him into the closer’s role, a position he is certainly nowhere near ready for.

    Virtually all of the best closers spend at least 1 year in a lesser role before becoming a closer. They have to learn to be a successful middle reliever first.

    That should be the case with Familia (and any other Mets young RP). The fact that the Mets don’t have a closer is irrelevant.

  • oleosmirf

    Parnell most likely wont be back though.

  • derek murphy

    He looks like he could be lights out. Disaster or not he has the stuff always has. Now it’s looking like he has some consistancy to go along with it. What would be more of a disaster is if the mets didNt give him a shot. They need to figure out what positions they can fill in house. He can prove himself and that would be 1 less position to worry about. Plus there are no other options right now.

  • Helloboy

    You can’t teach 97-99 MPH on the gun. This is all he needs to do. Bring up Black and you have a young 8th and 9th inning tandem of just bring it.

    Moving the Farnsworth and Torres group with Rice to 6th and 7th innings and German long relieving is the way to go.

  • HarveyKsYou

    95-97, touching 98 occasionally.*

  • Fast Eddie

    A reliever needs only two good pitches to succeed. The Mets have a lot of young arms with good-to-great stuff. A 97-mph fastball and a late-breaking slider are God-given talents, beyond human power to grant. The only thing holding them back is the control issue. Fortunately, control can be learned and refined, so there’s hope.

    Bring on the Kiddie Corps: Germen, Familia, Mejia, Black.


  • Andrew Herbst

    I’ve always felt Familia had closer type stuff. I’d have Meija in 8th.

  • Taskmaster4450

    Actually he needs to throw strikes. The Mets have a lot of terrific arms but some have control problems throughout their professional careers. Familia, Wheeler, and Black are three guys with terrific stuff. When they control their pitches, they are sensational. However, base on balls kill a pitcher in the major leagues.

    If Familia throws strikes, he is unhittable.

  • Dark HelMet

    If we’re gonna shove Mejia in the pen (mistake, or at least premature in my mind) then he’s gotta be the 9th inning guy. I don’t think Familia has the control. but I guess we’ll see. It just seems like a harsh and super quick demotion. 5th starter to 8th inning dude? maybe 7th inning guy? Ouch.

  • NewYorkMammoths

    1. Fire Terry, so he can do no more harm.
    2. Mejia to closer.
    3. Familia to 8th inning.
    4. Montero/deGrom to rotation.

    That’s a pretty good looking pitching staff.

    5. Fire Hudgens.

  • RyanF55

    Montero/DeGrom need to be brought up. Who’s moved where from that point can be argued until the end of time.

  • Taskmaster4450

    Rubin tweeted that he doesnt believe Collins is in any jeopardy of losing his job since the Mets play hard for him and dont give up. While many of his in game calls are questionable, Rubin made the point that is true with most managers. Every manager gets second guessed.

    Now I dont agree with Rubin’s assessment but if he is seeing that, perhaps others do too. And he does have the advantage of talking with Mets personnel which I dont have.

  • fedupfan13

    Hey joe….Rubin has a spot on article on his blog this morning you might want to read and or address…lots of what people here have been screaming about

  • mr. belvedere

    Fire Hudgens should be #1 on any list

  • Agee’s Catch

    Mejia 8th
    Familia 9th

    Return of the Nasty Boys

  • Helloboy

    if they “play hard for him” please advise the constant LOB issues and why they did not even show up to the Miami series?

  • Eyeball

    Remind me to stay away from wherever he played Winter Ball. The radar guns apparently add 7-8mph – lots of speeding tickets.

  • Helloboy

    Either way, Mejia should be pushed to the pen and Valverde and take your pick of DiceK or Farnsworth should be DFA’s. It still seems likely one of the new guys will be a reliever this year whether they like it or not.

  • Helloboy

    Add Black too. Mejia/Black/ Familia (in any order) Would be a filthy way to end a game.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    How in the world do people still think that this is Hudgens? It’s Sandy’s philosophy, carried out by his employee, Dave Hudgens. The next guy will, again, teach Sandy’s philosophy.

  • T Boogy

    I agree that it’s Sandy’s philosophy but even Sandy has to see that Hudgens isn’t carrying it out successfully. Time for a change to spark the crew.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments

    What? It’s a bad philosophy. Nobody…nobody thinks this is a good way to go about an at-bat. It’s not a matter of “carrying it out successfully.”

  • T Boogy

    Actually it’s worked in Oakland and Boston and they’re always in the playoffs. Can’t be that bad.

  • Dave Rosenbluth

    The constant LOB issues? The PLAYERS are not good enough. Besides, a week or so ago they were 16-12 and some folks were talking about 90 being an outside chance. Teams that hover at or near 500 play like this-it’s called mediocre.

  • ThatGuyWhoLeavesComments


  • oleosmirf

    Rookie closers simply don’t exist and for good reason.

    Whether it’s Rivera, Kimbrall, K-Rod, Valverde, Nathan, Soriano, Romo, Holland, etc. all the best closers in the past 10-15 years made their mark as middle relievers before getting becoming a closer.

    2-3 weeks of good pitching by Familia (after a short career of being terrible) should not elevate him into being the closer. It will only do more harm than good for his development.

    Let him pitch all of 2014 as a middle reliever and if he has a really good year then make him the closer going into 2015.

  • Just_Da_damaja

    ummm that “philosophy” had nothing to do with a boston team in 2003 that theo inherited that was 1 strike away from a WS appearence.

  • T Boogy

    Really, you have to go back to 2003 to make your point?

  • billpulsipher

    Heath Bell and Carlos Marmol should have their agents contact sandy, he will probably give them 2 year deals and the closers role

  • seldomused

    6. Move Duda to 4th in the lineup
    7. Move TDA to 6th so he can see some fastballs (and stop pinch hitting for him in big spots with the likes of Bobby Abooboo)
    8. Drop Granderson to 7th until he starts hitting.

  • seldomused

    The Mets are lifeless out there under his helm. Where does he get that they play hard?

  • seldomused

    I can see it now.

    1. Terry names Familia the uncontested closer.
    2. Famlia has two back to back dominant performances
    3. In outing 3, he lets a man on base, Terry pulls him for Farnsworth.

  • omar minayass

    could? how bout will. i’m so sick of this organization. the guy is simply being held back from closing duties for one reason: money.

    if this kid goes on to have a successful year as a closer, that translates into more money during his arbitration years. i’m sorry, but i don’t know familia’s status. however, i have to figure that he’s close to his arb-eligible years, if not already.

  • Familia SHOULD replace Farnsowrth as closer. With Mejia setting him up once Montero comes north. Carry on.

  • Brian Regan

    That really has nothing to do with it. The kid just needs to keep throwing strikes and he will be the closer. He has been held back by his walks. I hate the way collins runs a bullpen, but Familia struggled throwing strikes earl on, he could not be named a closer until he showed some consistently good outings which he has lately

  • L.J. Phipps

    At 49 I should replace Farnsworth as closer!

  • NeedNewOwners

    Get rid of this fatpig Colon immediately. Refuse to pay him for being out of shape.