Jeurys Familia told the New York Post he is unconcerned with his heavy workload and the pace with which manager Terry Collins is using him.
“T.C. knows when we need a day, when we feel tired,” Familia said. “He knows what he is doing. He is a smart manager, and when somebody needs a day just tell T.C., and that is it.”
“I like to be in the game,” Familia added. “It doesn’t matter what the situation is or the inning, I like to help the team and I enjoy what I do.”
Of course, baseball players are competitors and none of them are going up to their managers to ask out of a game. When they do it’s usually too late and already a sign of trouble.
It’s a manager’s job to protect players from themselves, and we as Mets fans know this better than most. – Joe D.
As Alex Torres gave up the infield hit in the 9th inning and the camera panned to Jeurys Familia warming up in the bullpen, I let out a grunt of frustration. The Mets were up 5-1 and yet our closer is being prepared to enter the game.
At this point, it feels like Terry Collins does not trust anyone other than Familia to finish a game, even in non-save situations.
The results worked out well last night as Familia struck out a pair to end the game but I have to question the long-term effects of using Familia the way he has been called upon.
At the conclusion of our 28th game, Familia is on pace to throw 86-87 innings this year. While it is early in the season, we have to remember that Familia threw 77.1 innings last year as well.
But consider also that this season Familia’s innings will all be high-leverage innings, something that Ron Darling often points out when considering workload.
For comparison purposes, here is a list of last season’s top 10 save leaders and their innings pitched, who averaged 66.1 innings among them.
These two factors would not be a big deal if the manager of the team didn’t already have a history of over-using his favorite relievers. It is this combination of factors that makes Familia’s early season usage so troublesome.
Handicap & Confidence
The way that Familia has been used is a concerning issue. The way that the last 2-3 guys in the bullpen are NOT being used is an even bigger issue. The Mets starting pitching has delivered strong performances and we are still early in the season so we can get away with hiding Erik Goeddel, Hansel Robles and Sean Gilmartin. However, as the season progresses, relievers numbered 5-7 will have to eventually appear in tight games.
By not using these younger pitchers, Terry Collins is limiting himself to a five man bullpen. If you can’t use Hansel Robles in a 0-0 game in the 7th inning with the bottom of the lineup coming up or you can’t use Sean Gilmartin with a two-run lead and two lefties coming up, then why do you even have them on this team?
What kind of message are you sending to your own players if you cannot leave Alex Torres in to finish a game with a four-run lead in early May?
At this current point in time, it may seem ridiculous to complain about Terry Collin’s bullpen usage. After all, we are 17-0 after leading through six innings. However, as Collin’s moves have been beneficial in the short run, I really hope that he re-evaluates the workload for his bullpen moving forward.
The season is a marathon and it just looks to me that Collins is asking Familia to sprint from the jump, with little concern for September and hopefully October.