Mets Merized Online » Jeurys Familia Sat, 14 Jan 2017 17:30:31 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Jose Reyes Will Join Jeurys Familia On Dominican Republic WBC Team Fri, 06 Jan 2017 13:00:46 +0000 jose reyes

According to Anthony DiComo of, New York Mets infielder Jose Reyes will play for the Dominican Republic team in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. This will be the fourth time that Reyes has played in the WBC for his home country.

He will join Mets closer Jeurys Familia on the squad. The Dominican roster also includes St. Louis Cardinals young pitcher Alex Reyes, Seattle Mariners sluggers Nelson Cruz and Robinson Cano, New York Yankees reliever Dellin Betances, Texas Rangers third basemen Adrian Beltre and Baltimore Orioles infielder Manny Machado.

The Dominican team is in Pool C along with the United States, Canada and Team Colombia. Play begins on March 9 at Marlins Park in Miami with the Dominican Republic as the defending champs.

Previous Report – Dec 28

A day after teammates Seth Lugo and Ty Kelly were confirmed to be playing in the WBC, it has now been confirmed by sources that T.J. Rivera will also participate. Rivera, 28, will join Lugo on Team Puerto Rico, and Kelly will play for Team Israel.

In 2016, Rivera, hit .352 in 105 Minor League games and .333 in 33 Major League games.

Other players on Team Puerto Rico include Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, Cubs second baseman Javier Baez, and Astros shortstop Carlos Correa.

Original Post – Dec 27

Here are a couple of New York Mets player updates regarding the upcoming Winter Baseball Classic.  According to Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, RHP Seth Lugo has agreed to play for Puerto Rico and Ty Kelly has agreed to play for Israel.

Lugo, 27, hails from Louisiana but has Puerto Rican roots on his father’s side of the family. Last season, Lugo was a nice surprise for the Mets, coming up after a rash of injuries and producing a 2.67 ERA and 1.092 WHIP in 17 late season appearances including eight starts.

Kelly, 27, has Jewish ancestry and was initially supposed to play in the qualifying rounds for Team Israel, but his September call-up prevented him from playing. Israel advanced anyway, and now Kelly will lend his talents to them. He played in 39 games for the Mets last season, posting a .241 average with a .697 OPS.

Other Mets expected to play in the WBC are SS Asdrubal Cabrera for Venezuela and RHP Jeurys Familia for the Dominican Republic. Both Michael Conforto and Brandon Nimmo are on Team Italy’s preliminary roster, however it is unclear yet if either outfielder will play. RHP Noah Syndergaard, has already declined an invitation from Team USA.

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Top Five Mets Concerns For 2017 Thu, 05 Jan 2017 22:00:49 +0000 steven-matz

Yesterday we looked at five reasons to be excited about the 2017 Mets. However, there are certainly some things to be worried about with the current Mets roster, so we must also look at five reasons to be concerned about 2017.

1. 30 Starts Or Bust

It is true that the Mets have five starters capable of putting up All Star numbers, and possibly even Cy Young credentials. The “Fab Five”, consisting of Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Steven Matz, and Zack Wheeler, is completely intact going into Spring Training. With the exception of Thor, though, they all have undergone recent surgery.

Harvey just had a rib removed, Wheeler was supposed to come back in July but never saw the light of day, Matz had bone spurs removed, deGrom needed the ulnar nerve in his elbow repaired, and Thor is pitching through bone spurs in his elbow. Over the past few seasons, the Mets remained in contention thanks to the help of Bartolo Colon who filled the void in their absences. This year, they will not have him to eat innings if one or two of the starters miss time, which is entirely possible.

They will, however, have emerging starters Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman. Both pitchers performed admirably down the stretch last season, but neither had particularly laudable Minor League statistics. While it might mean the Mets have seven viable starters, there’s no telling if it might have been a fluke.

The Mets also saw the likes of Rafael Montero, Jon Niese, Logan Verrett, Sean Gilmartin and Gabriel Ynoa make starts in 2016, showing that it takes more than seven starters normally to get through a season.

The Mets starting pitching situation is very unique in that it will either be the Mets biggest strength, or a serious concern.

2. Infirmary In The Infield

The starting pitchers aren’t the only Mets coming off injuries. The entire Mets starting infield dealt with some form of ailment last season.

Lucas Duda had a stress fracture in his back, limiting him to only 47 games in which he hit .229/.302/.412 with seven home runs. Neil Walker was having a stellar season (.282/.347/.476 with 23 HR in 113 games) before it was derailed by season ending back surgery to fix a herniated disc. Asdrubal Cabrera missed some time in the middle of the season due to a strained left patella tendon, but was still able to put up arguably the best numbers in his career. David Wright, already dealing with his spinal stenosis condition, had surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck.

The Mets do have Jose Reyes, Wilmer Flores, and even T.J. Rivera as plans B, C, and D, however each of those players (with the exception of Reyes) represents a significant drop-off in either offensive or defensive production from the infield depending on the player.

jeurys familia

3. Case Closed?

If Jeurys Familia is suspended to begin the season, a decision which is still in limbo, the Mets could be without their star closer for the first 30 games of the season. Last year in April, Familia pitched in 12 games and saved eight of them. He had the help of Addison Reed, as he did all season, however this coming April, Reed might have to close those eight games. If he does, who will be behind him?

Right now, the Mets do not have a clear answer to that question. Hansel Robles comes to mind, but he can either be extremely effective or extremely ineffective and shouldn’t be relied on for the 8th inning. Josh Smoker showed some promise last season, striking out 25 batters in 15.1 innings, however the sample size is still a bit to small to thrust him into that role.

The Mets are still shopping Jay Bruce with the hope that he will bring in a player like the Orioles’ Brad Brach, however absolutely nothing has happened on that front and probably will stay that way until Mark Trumbo and/or Jose Bautista find homes.

It should also be noted that Familia has led baseball in appearances since 2014 with 230 (243 including playoffs) and Reed isn’t that far behind with 197 (207 with playoffs).

The Mets could still sign one or two of the top ten remaining free agent relievers (except Drew Storen who signed with the Reds). As of now, though, Familia and Reed is pretty much all they’ve got.

4. Center Of Attention

Who is going to play center field? It is fairly obvious that the Mets have all but given up on Juan Lagares, one of the best center fielders in the game. Yoenis Cespedes will play left field every day, but Lagares, Michael Conforto, and Curtis Granderson will have to split time in center and right field.

On one hand, a straight platoon of Lagares and Conforto in center field makes a lot of sense. Conforto, if swinging well, mashes righties and Lagares mashes lefties. This would leave Curtis Granderson to play right field every day. However, many Mets higher-ups have said that they want Conforto to play every day, against both righties and lefties. So, the Mets could platoon Granderson and Lagares in center, but will they?

There are two big “if’s” that concern me. The first and biggest “if” is the possibility that Michael Conforto just can’t find his swing and is banished to AAA once again. If that happens, the outfield would be pretty clear with Cespedes/Lagares/Granderson from left to right.

The second “if” is what happens if the Mets can’t bring in a good haul for Jay Bruce? He is a All Star-caliber slugger that Sandy will not trade for peanuts. If a good deal doesn’t come his way, he will not trade him. If Bruce were to remain a Met, they would either have a serious surplus of outfielders or they would trade another outfielder, probably Granderson.


5. What’s The Catch?

Four-time All Star Matt Wieters is a free agent. Sandy Alderson could swoop in and sign him and the Mets would have a another option behind the plate for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, it does not seem like that will happen as Sandy has said on multiple occasions that he is trusting Travis d’Arnaud with the starting catcher job.

While his excellent pitch-framing skills will directly help the pitching staff, he is lacking in most other areas. He has a very hard time throwing people out, throwing out only 23% of potential base stealers in his career. After hitting 12 home runs (.485 SLG%) in only 67 games in 2015, his power was almost nonexistent in 2016, posting a .323 SLG% in 75 games.

He does have a lot of potential, however that’s all it is right now — potential. If the Mets are planning on winning the World Series, which they have the pieces to do, is it the best course of action to totally invest in someone who has either been injured or severely underperformed since his debut in 2013?

He would split his time with Noah Syndergaard‘s personal catcher Rene Rivera. Rivera, a good defensive catcher who has thrown out 36% of potential base stealers in his eight-year career, could also start other days when d’Arnaud is struggling either at or behind the plate. Rivera would not be much of an offensive upgrade over even a struggling d’Arnaud, as he hit .222/.291/.341 with six home runs in 65 games in 2016.

What are you most concerned about going into 2017? Comment below!

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Could Past Workload Become An Issue For Reed and Familia? Thu, 05 Jan 2017 11:00:14 +0000 addison reed

The New York Mets bullpen in the eighth and ninth innings have been on lockdown the last couple of seasons with Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia. They of course though have been used quite a lot during their time in New York, could this become an issue in 2017?

Reed, 28, is coming off the best year of his career in as he pitched to a 1.97 ERA while making 80 appearances. In the 77.2 innings he pitched this past season, he accumulated 91 strikeouts and an impressive WHIP of 0.94.

From the 2014 through the 2016 season, Reed finds himself as the 29th most used pitcher in the league (3rd in 2016), according to FanGraphs. In that time frame he has appeared in 197 games while tossing 193 innings. He also pitched in 10 playoff games covering eight innings during that span.

As dominant as he has been, it is hard not to wonder if the amount of appearances he has had the past few seasons will begin to take a toll on him or not.

Addison will find himself with an even more important role in this Mets bullpen in 2017 with the possible suspension of the team’s current closer, Familia, looming. Reed though of course is no stranger to closing out games as he did so with the Diamondbacks and White Sox from 2012-2015.

jeurys familia

Familia, 27, has also been used quite a bit over the last few years. Of all pitchers from the years 2014-2016, the Mets closer leads the league in appearances with 230. Over the last two years, he’s also made 13 playoff appearances that covers 15.2 innings.

Manager, Terry Collins, likes to go to his closer often and the effects seem to show, especially towards the end of a season with Familia.

This past season was another spectacular one for the team’s closer, postseason aside. Familia appeared in 78 games while accumulating 51 saves and an ERA of 2.27. He pitched 77.2 innings in total while striking out 84 and putting up a WHIP of 1.21.

Familia always seems to walk the tightrope but is able to find his way across more times than not. The amount of times he is used may have a direct effect on how he performs not just in the postseason but in the years to come. Familia though is not looking to lighten up his workload anytime soon.

Jeurys has been pitching in winter ball for the Gigantes del Cibao and also looks to pitch in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. With the thought of him possibly facing a significant suspension, Familia wants to stay in game shape. The Mets though really need to take a look at the effect this may have on him, not just for this season, but his career as Familia may benefit from extra rest of his arm.

Of course, Familia’s arm could get some rest to begin the regular season, as he’s still facing a possible suspension from Major League Baseball stemming from an incident with his wife on October 31. Reports say he could still be suspended at least 30 games despite the charges being dropped.

With no other big relief signings being made this offseason as of yet, the Mets are sure to rely on Reed and Familia once again. The two relievers who currently sit in the top 30 for innings and appearances could certainly use some help if they would like to continue their dominance for years to come.

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]]> 0 Update On Free Agent Reliever Market Thu, 22 Dec 2016 20:55:55 +0000 jerry-blevins-mets-win

The New York Mets remain in need of bullpen help with their only additions so far being righties Ben Rowen and Cory Burns on minor league deals.

Closer Jeurys Familia could still be suspended by Major League Baseball despite the charges against him being dropped. The Mets also have two holes in their bullpen with Jerry Blevins and Fernando Salas being free agents after playing important roles during the 2016 season.

With Kenley Jansen re-signing with the Los Angleles Dodgers the big three closers are now off the board. After missing out on Jansen, the Miami Marlins went out and signed Brad Ziegler and Junichi Tazawa.

The latest reliever to sign was righty Daniel Hudson with the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this week for two years, $11 million. Last week, the Chicago Cubs finalized a deal with veteran reliever Koji Uehara to go along with closer Wade Davis, who they previously acquired from the Kansas City Royals.

Mike Dunn signed a lucrative three-year, $19 million with the Colorado Rockies. He joins lefties Brett Cecil and Marc Rzepczynski who have been pleased with deals given out to left-handed relievers.

Blevins is now the best lefty reliever available on the market and seems destined to get the three-year deal he seeks. Sandy Alderson has made it pretty clear that he would like to have Blevins back, but certainly not willing to give him three years.

boone logan

The lefty market is getting pretty scarce with one of the best remaining options being Boone Logan. The Mets have shown interest in the veteran that held lefties to a .142/.222/.255 slash line in 2016. The Baltimore Orioles reportedly covet Logan who should get at least a two-year deal given current market conditions.

Other lefties still available include veterans J.P. Howell, Chris Capuano, Travis Wood and Javier Lopez.  Wood was the best of the group against lefties in 2016 holding them to a .447 OPS in 120 plate appearances.

The buzz surrounding Salas has been quiet this offseason despite a great finish for the Mets in which he had a 2.07 ERA, 0.65 WHIP and didn’t walk a single batter in 17.1 innings.

Trevor Cahill is currently being pursued by six teams according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. The right-hander can be a swingman and struck out 66 batters in 65.2 innings last year, but that also came with 35 walks.

Possibly the most intriguing reliever left on the market is former Kansas City Royals closer Greg Holland. He has received interest from a large number of teams including the Washington Nationals who missed out on the big three.

Other right-handed relievers still free agents that could help the Mets include Sergio Romo (career WHIP under 1.00), Neftali Feliz (10.2 K/9 in 2016), Joe Blanton (2.48 ERA in 2016), Santiago Casilla (69 saves over past two seasons), Drew Storen (1.59 ERA in last 18 games), and Joe Smith (2.93 career ERA).

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Mets Have Not Given Permission for Familia and Cabrera to Play Winter Ball Wed, 14 Dec 2016 13:30:58 +0000 jeurys familia

New York Mets players, Jeurys Familia and Asdrubal Cabrera are readying themselves to play winter ball in order to prepare themselves for the World Baseball Classic. The only problem is the team has yet to provide permission for either player to participate in their respective leagues.

With injuries always being a concern and an eye on the bigger picture that is the 2017 season, General Manager, Sandy Alderson was not too keen on the idea of his star players getting in extra work.

“in Familia’s case, it’s about getting ready for the WBC. The same is true for Cabrera. In terms of playing winter ball to get prepared for the WBC, that’s something that right now we have not permitted. We may or may not.” (NY Post)

With the workload Familia has received the last few years, there is no question that Alderson’s thought process on this makes sense. The same could be said with Cabrera, who dealt with a nagging knee injury through a good portion of the 2016 season.

The team has already dealt with a scare this offseason with one of their players playing winter ball as Juan Lagares sprained his shoulder while diving for a ball. These are not the injuries you would like to risk happening prior to the start of the coming season.

“Obviously with what happened to Juan Lagares, there’s always a risk associated with winter ball,” Alderson said.

“I think it was last year that we allowed [Wilmer] Flores to play five or six games. He got hurt. In Juan’s case, he only played [79] games last year, so the idea of getting him some at-bats in winter ball was valuable.”

In a situation like this, where two of the team’s key contributors are looking to log a significant amount of play prior to spring training, they are right to show caution. It will be interesting to see if the Mets ultimately allow Familia and Cabrera to participate in the Dominican and Venezuelan winter leagues as they look to prepare for the upcoming WBC tournament.

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]]> 0 The Mets Should Zero in on Ziegler– Even if They Have to Overspend Tue, 13 Dec 2016 12:30:50 +0000 brad-ziegler

The team that signs Brad Ziegler isn’t going to draw front-page headlines or an uptick in jersey sales. Heck, they might not even trend on Twitter for signing him.

But that doesn’t mean that signing Brad Ziegler won’t be an important move that drastically changes the landscape of the 2017 season for one, or multiple teams.

Ziegler is the best relief pitcher available now that Kenley Jansen, Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon are signed. He’s 37 years old, so he’s not going to command a long-term deal for $15 to $20 million a year. And his career numbers are as good as any other relief pitcher in baseball.

He has never posted an ERA above 3.49 since breaking into the majors in 2008, and has a lifetime mark of 2.44. Ziegler has been especially dominant over the last two seasons.

He’s been as good as Kenley Jansen since 2015, and will come at just a fraction of Jansen’s price. Ziegler is also quite versatile; he has been a setup man for much of his career and has only become a full-time closer over the last two seasons, and he has excelled there as well.

This is someone that the Mets need to sign for a couple of reasons. The first of which is their need for another arm in the bullpen. Jeurys Familia could end up getting an extended suspension after he was arrested in October and charged with simple assault. And after he comes back, the Mets will need a seventh-inning man to shore up the back end of their bullpen.

And another reason the Mets need him– and this is the one that will justify overspending on him– is that both the Nationals and the Marlins are vying for a closer. Ziegler is by far the strongest option here and depriving two division rivals of a guy who is statistically on par with Kenley Jansen might just be the biggest upside of a Ziegler-Mets partnership.

The Nationals’ bullpen right now is nonexistent. If they get a closer like Ziegler, however, they’ll re-emerge as favorites to win the division. The Marlins are in a similar situation, albeit they’re a middle-of-the-road team that probably is going to need to make a lot more moves to contend.

Other options on the relief market are not nearly as effective as Ziegler has been. They include Neftali Feliz, who is one season removed from a 6.38 ERA, Greg Holland, who hasn’t pitched in two years, and Santiago Casilla, who has been remarkably inconsistent over the last couple seasons. Considering this market, the Mets need to sign Ziegler to keep their division rivals from acquiring a top-tier reliever.

Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports predicted that Ziegler would get a two-year, $18 million contract. That’s more than fair for him, and if the Mets need to go a little bit higher than that, so be it.

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Reed Should Have Continued Success Closing Sat, 10 Dec 2016 13:30:35 +0000 addison-reed

While Sandy Alderson and the front office continue to scour the market for bullpen help via free agency and through trades, the Mets feel confident in their closer heading into 2017.

No, not Jeurys Familia, who will likely be suspended to begin the 2017 season due to his arrest for his role in a domestic violence dispute on Halloween in Fort Lee, NJ. Instead, the Mets intend to slide setup man Addison Reed into the closer’s role, one he’s familiar with from his time with the Chicago White Sox and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Reed, 28 on December 27, had a brilliant 2016 season as the Mets’ setup man, posting career highs in games pitched (80), ERA (1.97), IP (77.2), strikeouts (91), WHIP (0.94), and OPS against (.536). His 2.6 fWAR was tied for fifth among all relievers in ’16, with only names like Jansen, Miller, Betances, and Chapman ahead of him.

Before the trade that sent Reed to the Mets in late August of 2015 for minor league pitchers Matt Koch and Miller Diaz, Reed was the closer for both the White Sox and Diamondbacks, compiling 101 saves from 2012-14, posting a 4.22 ERA with 9.5 SO/9 during that period. While the 101 saves was good for ninth among relievers, his ERA was the 16th worst among qualifying arms. Although, his FIP was 3.58, indicating that he might’ve been subjected to some bad luck and/or poor fielding or defensive alignments.

So why did it take so long for Reed to blossom into the dominating force he’s been for the Mets? Taking a closer look at Reed’s velocity and pitch selection, per Brooks Baseball, Reed’s four-seam fastball velocity in 2011-12 was over 95 MPH. Over the next four seasons, Reed watched his velocity dip to 93.22 MPH this year, however, Reed’s whiff percentage has risen since 2015, registering 9.09 followed by a 10.75 this past season, the highest it’s been since 2014. Reed’s also seen his slugging percentage against shrink over the past three years, from .423 in 2014, to .421 in ’15, to a career low .319 in ’16.

Reed’s slider has also been a useful weapon for the right-hander, as he’s using it more as a put away pitch than he has in years past. In 2014, Reed went to the slider 236 times, then saw a huge hike in ’15 with 321 times, followed by 329 in ’16. In 2012 and ’13, Reed’s whiff percentage on his slider was at 12.88 and 18.81 respectively, in ’16, Reed had a 20.97 whiff percentage on the slider, another career best. His .185 batting average against on his slider was also a career best for Reed in ’16, resulting in a 60.78 ground ball percentage.


Another important aspect to Reed’s success with the Mets is the mechanical adjustments he’s made on his leg kick, or should I say, lack thereof. As early as mid 2015, Reed pitched with a pronounced leg kick, bringing his knee up to his belt before delivering to the plate. But while Reed was stationed in Triple A Reno in 2015, as the Diamondbacks demoted their closer due to inconsistencies in the majors and watched as his ERA ballooned to 7.20 by mid May, Reed and the Diamondbacks’ staff made a compromise.

“We kind of met in the middle,” Reed said. “Not the high leg kick, not the slide step but lifting it quick and just going. That kind of got me a little bit more going into my delivery and going as opposed to the slide step, you’re just falling forward. This kind of got me to gather everything on my back leg and then shoot toward home plate.” (Beyond the Boxscore)

The change in Reed’s mechanics allow him to gather momentum on his back leg and fire towards home plate. The change in mechanics have also given Reed better control, as he posted a 1.51 BB/9, the lowest it’s been since his brief cup of coffee with the White Sox in 2011. Reed posted his best first pitch strike percentage in ’16, at 70.1%, according to FanGraphs.

Mechanics, pitch selection, and change of scenery have all helped Reed regain his form and be a dominating reliever in baseball. Because of this, the Mets should enter 2017 with peace of mind in the ninth, as his turnaround over the last year and change signals that the Mets have rolled the dice and won in their low risk/high reward gamble with Reed. Terry Collins spoke to MLB Network this past Tuesday and offered similar sentiments when it comes to Reed in the ninth, saying he was confident Reed can handle the ninth and get the job done.

Of course, the off-season is far from over, as the team needs to add additional relievers along with looking to re-sign Jerry Blevins. Adding a trusted arm to take Reed’s spot setting up is still a priority for the club, and it will only strengthen the team as Familia comes back from his likely suspension, giving the Mets a potentially dynamic back end of the pen.

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Jeurys Familia Court Date Postponed (Again) Until Nov 14th Tue, 08 Nov 2016 02:43:31 +0000 jeurys familia

According to Adam Rubin on ESPN, Jeurys Familia’s court date was again pushed back, this time to Monday November 14th.

Last Report – Nov 2

Per Adam Rubin of ESPN, Mets closer Jeurys Familia, who was arrested for alleged domestic violence, had his court date pushed back at the request of his attorneys.

The first hearing was originally going to be this Thursday, however it is now scheduled for November 10th.

This is the first news that has anything to do with his attorneys, as they have yet to issue a statement pertaining to the situation.

Additionally, several sources are now confirming that the unnamed victim was indeed his wife Bianca.

Original Report – Nov 1

In a report by Andrew Wyrich and Abbott Koloff of the Bergen County Record, Mets closer Jeurys Familia has been charged with simple assault and a disorderly persons offense stemming from an alleged domestic violence altercation between Familia and an unnamed victim.

Fort Lee Police Chief Keith Bendul declined to give specifics of the incident instead only stating the police responded to a call at a Fort Lee apartment building at 2:22 A.M. regarding a dispute.  This was the same apartment building where Familia currently resides with his wife Bianca and one year old son.

The unnamed victim in the complaint was said to have a scratch to the chest and a bruise to the right cheek.  While there were no details on the altercation itself, responding officer Tony Pickens, Jr. swore under oath he believed there was probable cause that an act of domestic violence occurred.

“The matter was brought to our attention and we are monitoring the situation,” the Mets said in a statement to The Record on Tuesday.

The statute charged Familia with a misdemeanor and not a felony.  Should Familia be convicted, he would be subject to fines, up to six months in jail, and/or one year of probation. And then of course MLB would conduct their own investigation as well.

Last month, Familia had appeared in a Public Service Announcement to condemn domestic violence. They issued the following statement:

“I am deeply disturbed by the allegations against Jeurys Familia and call on MLB to launch an immediate and thorough investigation. We created #NotAFan so fans can communicate that domestic violence is absolutely unacceptable and to give a voice to fans who didn’t have one before. I will be reaching out to the Mets and the Familia ads will be removed from the campaign. Last week it was Josh Brown this week it’s Familia. The problem is rampant. The solution is to confront it.”

Jeurys Familia is denying the report and told Dominican reporter Hector Gomez: ”Somebody is trying to damage my reputation with this info. I’m at peace with my family.”

This is a breaking story. Please check back for more details.

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Alderson: Mets Unlikely To Pursue Top Tier Bullpen Arm Tue, 08 Nov 2016 01:38:41 +0000 sandy alderson

According to Mets GM Sandy Alderson, the team is unlikely to pursue a higher-tier bullpen arm, reports Mike Puma on Twitter.

However, Alderson acknowledged that the team needs bullpen help, but mentioned in-house options such as Robert Gsellman and Seth Lugo, Marc Carig tweets.

With Jeurys Familia‘s arrest for domestic violence, the Mets closer could face suspension time, leaving the Mets in a tough situation at the back end of their bullpen.

The team sent a scout to Greg Holland‘s showcase, as was reported earlier, so the need to strengthen the ‘pen is known.

It’s still very early, but don’t expect the Mets to land top closer options Aroldis Chapman or Kenley Jansen in what is a very thin market for free agents.

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How Should the Mets Handle the Closer Role? Thu, 03 Nov 2016 12:30:14 +0000 jeurys-familia

With Jeurys Familia having been arrested under suspicion of domestic violence, there are a number of questions that need to be asked and answered. While it may seem tactless, at some point, we need to ask the question of how does this arrest will impact the Mets organization.

Over the past two seasons, Familia has been leaned on heavily by Terry Collins, and Familia has responded. In his two years as the Mets closer, Familia has made more appearances, converted more saves, pitched more innings, and finished more games than any other closer in Major League Baseball. He has at least appeared to be the rare durable closer that can be relied upon year in and year out.

Many times Familia hasn’t been given much of a margin for error. For far too many stretches in 2015 and 2016, the Mets have found themselves desperate for offense putting a ton of pressure on their starters and their best relievers. This past season Familia and Addison Reed combined to be the one of the best 8-9 combinations in all of baseball. With the possibility of Yoenis Cespedes leaving in free agency, the uncertainty of the health of Neil Walker and whether he can return next season, and the myriad of other offensive question marks, the bullpen is once again going to be of great importance in 2017.

That’s where things get tricky with Familia. While he has stated he is not guilty of the crimes, we have seen Major League Baseball levy suspensions for players regardless of criminal charges being filed or in the absence of a conviction. The police never filed charges against Aroldis Chapman, and he was still suspended 30 games. The charges against Jose Reyes were dropped, and he was suspended for 51 games.


With Reed, the Mets do have an internal option to close. From 2012 – 2014, Reed served as a closer for the White Sox and the Diamondbacks. In that time, he averaged 34 saves per season. While his 4.22 ERA and 1.217 WHIP left a lot to be desired, it is important to note Reed has been a different pitcher since coming to the Mets. As a Met, he has a 1.84 ERA and a 0.957 WHIP. Certainly, Reed has shown the ability in the past to be a closer, and with the Mets Reed has shown the ability to be a dominant reliever. Therefore, from a closing standpoint, the Mets have an internal option.

The real issue becomes who takes Reed’s spot in the bullpen.

Hansel Robles has shown a lot of promise. He has struck out 10.0 batters per nine in his career, and he is effective getting left-handed batters out. However, he is also mercurial in his performance, and slotting him into the eighth inning takes away one of his key attributes which is he is a guy that you can use for multiple innings or to get a big out.

Josh Smoker had great strikeout numbers in both the minors and in the majors this season. In fact, he struck out 14.7 batters per nine. However, he has severe reverse splits, and each time Collins asked him to pitch more than one inning this year, he allowed a home run in his second inning of work.

Seth Lugo could be an inspired choice to take over the eighth inning. As we saw this season, the Mets envisioned his future role with the team coming out of the bullpen, and Lugo was effective in his limited time out of the pen for the Mets. However, we also saw he was an effective starter, and with Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, and Steven Matz coming off season ending surgeries, we were reminded you cannot have enough starting pitching depth.

From there, the Mets do not have many internal options. In reality, this means with Familia potentially missing a significant portion of the season, the Mets will likely have to look on the free agent market to fill in the gap.

The first name that comes to mind is Fernando Salas. In his limited time with the Mets, he was very effective. In fact, he had the same reversal of fortune that Reed did in 2015. Still, there is caution in over relying on a pitcher with a career 3.64 ERA to replace one of your two best bullpen arms.

There are a number of intriguing set-up men on the free agent market. There is Joe Blanton who had a 2.48 ERA in 75 appearances for the Dodgers. Former Met Joe Smith has been a good reliever for 10 years, and during the stretch drive with the Cubs this year, he had a a 2.51 ERA in 16 appearances. Brad Ziegler is coming off a terrific year as a closer for the Diamondbacks and the Red Sox.

Therefore, if you are going to add a reliever you should go after the dominant closer in free agency. While there is debate over whether or not they are more of a sure thing, we do know there are three great closers available this offseason.

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We can pick nits over who is better among the trio of Chapman, Kenley Jansen, or Mark Melancon. However, the one underlying truth with any of those three is if you have one of them, you have a dominant closer in your bullpen. As we have seen with Familia over the past two seasons, you are lucky to have any of these dominant closers. With one of those three joining Reed, and eventually Familia, the Mets would have a bullpen similar to the one the Indians have rode all the way to the World Series.

According to the Los Angeles Times, it is believed that Jansen will not only receive and reject the $17.2 million qualifying offer, but also he will eventually sign a contract surpassing Jonathan Papelbon‘s then record setting five year $50 million contract. With Jansen on the free agent market, and big budget teams like the Dodgers chasing after him, there is no telling how high the bidding will go for him.

For their part, Chapman and Melancon cannot receive qualifying offers as a result of them being traded in-season. At least conceptually, that could drive up their prices as well because more teams may be interested in them because they will not have to forfeit a draft pick to obtain them. Teams like the Dodgers, Cubs, Yankees, and who knows who else could be interested leading to each of them getting a huge contract.

This begs the question whether the Mets can even afford to pursue a big time closer. Likely, they cannot.

According to Mets Merized Online, the Mets will have approximately $108 million wrapped up in 18 players who should make the Opening Day roster. That number does not include money to re-sign Cespedes, Walker, Jerry Blevins, Bartolo Colon, or the aforementioned Salas. If the Mets were to re-sign these players, or players of similar value to replace them, the Mets payroll is going to go well over $160 million. According to Spotrac, the Mets finished the 2016 season with a $156 million payroll. It should be noted this amount does not include any insurance reimbursements related to David Wright‘s season ending neck surgery.

With that in mind, the Mets likely don’t have the budget necessary to add a Chapman, Jansen, or Melancon. If the Mets were to add one of them, it is likely to come at the expense of Cespedes or Walker. While having a dominant trio to close out ballgames in enticing, the Mets would first need offense to get enough runs to give that bullpen a lead.This puts a greater priority on Cespedes and Walker.

In the long run, the Mets best bet may be to play out the entire process with Familia. If there is a suspension, Reed can be an effective closer. Re-signing Salas and/or bringing in a Ziegler would help as well. It would behoove the Mets to roll the dice on a reclamation project like a Greg Holland or a Drew Storen because in reality that is the position the Mets are in budget-wise.

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The Mets Should Hold Their Heads High Today Thu, 06 Oct 2016 12:30:46 +0000 noah-syndergaard-2

The New York Mets were defeated by a score of 3-0 Wednesday night at the hands of the San Francisco Giants in the NL Wild Card game. They have no reason to be down on themselves after going through a roller coaster of a season.

This team was left for dead at 60-62 before a series against this very same Giants team had helped to give them a pulse entering the final weeks of the season. They were down and disappointed at the end of Wednesday’s game, just as most of us were. Manager, Terry Collins though showed nothing but praise for a club that had been written off numerous times this season.

“Well, they’re hurting, but there’s no reason to be,” Collins said. “I mean, they were written off so many times this summer and yet they kept fighting back, and they said the other day you’ve got to have special people and special character to play in this town and in this environment, and that’s in that room.” (Newsday)

Their ace showed up in what was the biggest game of the 2016 season, Noah Syndergaard could not have done anymore. He pitched to seven shutout innings while allowing just two hits and striking out 10. It was possibly the best pitched game in his career, exceeding all expectations. Despite a loss, he would find solace in the fact of just how hard this team fought this season.

“It stings a little bit right now,” Syndergaard said. “It still hasn’t sunk in yet that this season’s over with. But I couldn’t be more proud of this group of guys right here, for everything we went through.”


The result of the game is not what they wished it would be. The game was handed to their closer, Jeurys Familia, a man who had saved a franchise record 51 games this season. He though would falter, giving way to another postseason victory for the Giants in an elimination setting. He too would reflect on just how much this team battled this season, enduring obstacle after obstacle.

“A lot of people thought we weren’t going to make it here this year,” Familia said. “Everybody should be proud in this room because we made it with those injuries.”

The resounding opinion in the Mets clubhouse Wednesday night was that of feeling accomplished. No, they did not make it past this first round Wild Card game, but they have every reason to be proud. This was a team who were on there way to a disappointing season, only to turn it around and make it back to the postseason. Too many injuries, bad managerial decisions and just bad luck at times, they endured.

The 2016 Mets are a team to be proud of. A team with great heart that was such a pleasure to watch. A team that taught you to never give up because if you just keep moving ahead, good things will come.

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Familia’s Postseason Struggles Resurface During Ninth Inning Letdown Thu, 06 Oct 2016 11:00:51 +0000 jeurys-familia

The postseason woes continued for Mets closer Jeurys Familia, who dished up the deciding three-run homer that would end the Mets season and allow Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants to advance to the NLDS.

This comes a year after blowing three saves in the World Series against the Kansas City Royals.

Familia inherited a scoreless tie, but quickly got into trouble after allowing a leadoff double to Brandon Crawford and then a critical one-out walk to Joe Panik who had been struggling mightily of late.

That brought up third baseman Conor Gillaspie, who then crushed a 1-1 sinker over the right-center field fence to give the Giants a 3-0 lead which Bumgarner would protect as the Mets went down in order to end the game.

“It’s not my first time playing in the major leagues, playing baseball,” said Familia who took the loss.  “I know those things are going to happen sometimes.”

“Every time I go out there, I try to do the best I can. After that, I can’t control what happens. I try to move forward. We didn’t make it this year. I’ll try to keep working hard to try to get there next year again.”

After the game, concerns could be heard everywhere from Mets fans and media alike, as many questioned whether Familia had what it takes to get it done in the postseason.

Comparisons were made to Armando Benitez by some, the former Mets closer who could do it all in the regular season, but seemed to always fail in a big spot.

Manager, Terry Collins advised after the game of how disappointed his closer was. “Familia is really down, but we wouldn’t be here without him,” Collins said.

“He was the guy I wanted out there in the ninth inning and we’ll try to do a better job to make sure he’s a little more rested going into the postseason.”

Familia saved an MLB-leading 51 games during the regular season, but unfortunately it came crashing down for him last night as the Mets saw their 2016 season come to a bittersweet end.

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]]> 0 Jeurys Familia is the First to 50 Saves in 2016 Thu, 29 Sep 2016 12:00:46 +0000 50 saves jeurys familia

New York Mets closer, Jeurys Familia became the first Dominican-Born pitcher to reach 50 saves in a season with the Mets’ 5-2 victory over the Miami Marlins.

Save number 50 put Familia in a special class, as only 12 other closers have reached the season mark that Familia had on Wednesday night. No other closer has yet to reach that mark in 2016

“For me it’s something very important,” Familia said. “From my country to be the first to get to 50, I just want to say thank you to all the coaches in here and my teammates, because if they don’t do well before me I don’t make it.”

“In that moment, big moment, the dugout was there to motivate me to keep going and doing my job the way I do.” (NY Daily News)

Familia has put together another impressive season, posting a 2.62 ERA while appearing in 76 games. He matched a season-high  record in appearances on Wednesday, as he appeared 76 times both in 2014 and 2015.

jeurys familia

The Mets closer only ever received the opportunity due to Jenrry Mejia being busted for PED use. To think what never might have been if Mejia had never failed that drug test. Familia’s stuff was too good to be kept under wraps, thrust in to a closing role, he has succeeded.

Manager, Terry Collins reflected on the amazing job his closer has done.

“Look up now and he has 93 saves in two years. I can’t tell you what a great job he’s done and what he has meant to us.”

Overall in his career he has made 245 appearances while accumulating 99 saves in 254 innings pitched. His career ERA sits at a very impressive 2.48. Familia has struck out 257 batter, with 80 of those being in 2016.

The Mets hold one of the most dominant closers in the game in their bullpen. He continues to prove on a daily basis why he is one of the best.

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]]> 0 Replace-Mets Keep On Winning, Capture Top Wild Card Spot Mon, 19 Sep 2016 10:00:51 +0000 jerry-blevins-mets-win

Terry Collins‘ dubious decision to rest his veterans and go with his Replace-Mets in the heat of a pennant chase paid some dividends as the New York Mets completed a three-game sweep over the Minnesota Twins with a 3-2 win at Citi Field on Sunday.

New York now sits in the Wild Card driver’s seat with a one game lead over the not so gigantic San Francisco Giants.

Rookie right-hander Gabriel Ynoa, filling in for a grim Jacob deGrom, struck out eight in 4 2/3 solid innings of one run, one hit ball in his first major league start.

The Mets’ roughed up pitching rotation was dealt another blow on Friday with the news that deGrom will miss the rest of the season with an elbow injury.

But, the resilient crew from Queens, who are also without the services of the ailing Steven Matz, keeps beating the odds and pulling rabbits out of their caps. It’s pretty amazing when you stop and think about it, and it has been one of the best storylines of pretty remarkable season.

Michael Conforto recovered from Saturday’s bases loaded whiff with a first inning two-run single with the bases juiced to give the Mets a lead they never relinquished.  Conforto had himself a 2-for-4 day while hitting in the cleanup spot, which will hopefully boost the confidence he’s been lacking.

It was another head-scratcher by Terry Collins that paid off handsomely for the Mets. It’s been one of many such “brilliantly quirky moves” as pointed out by Joe D. on Friday.

After breezing through the order in the top of the first, Ynoa ran into a bases loaded debacle in the second, leaving the mound in better shape than counterpart Kyle Gibson, surrendering only one run on a Ryan Murphy sac fly.

Collins made what seemed like another of his questionable moves when he replaced Ynoa in the fourth after giving up a two out single to Brian Dozier.  After Josh Edgin gave up a bloop hit he was given the hook for Erik Goeddel who then loaded the bases with a walk.

I could feel the fans disdain for Collins through my television screen, but Goedell got Kennys Vargas swinging to end the inning, and another episode of manager knows best prevailed.


Mets Bronx Bomber T.J. Rivera then continued his torrid plate appearances with a solo shot in the third for an insurance run that meant something when Kennys Vargas cut the lead to 3-2 with a home run off Fernando Salas in the top of the eighth.

Jerry Blevins gave Jeurys Familia some much-needed rest, recording the final four outs, including a game ending strikeout in the dirt to the dominant left-hand hitting Brian Dozier, who came to the plate with two out in the ninth. The crowd went wild and so did I.

Both Rivera and Conforto stepped up big while filling the cleats of Jose Reyes and the red hot Curtis Granderson, collecting two big hits each and providing the type of offense that will be needed by the Mets down the stretch.

Their remaining schedule on paper predicts a favorable outcome, but this won’t be a walk in the park as Mets face the pesky Atlanta Braves, who have given them all sorts of problems. However, the Mets are one of the hottest teams in the NL, winning 11 of their last 14 and they are 20-7 over their last 27 games. That’s a lot of momentum.

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Familia Falters, But Mets Stand Their Ground In Wild Card Hunt Wed, 14 Sep 2016 10:18:29 +0000 jeurys familia

Daniel Murphy started a ninth inning rally for the Nationals, but destiny was on the barrel of rookie T.J. Rivera’s bat, as he launched a tie breaking solo shot in the top of the 10th to keep the Mets in sole possession of the second wild card spot.

The native New Yorker accounted for three of the Mets four runs and since being summoned from Sin City, the Pacific Coast League Batting Champion is hitting a team high .333.

Noah Syndergaard, sporting an impressive 1.06 in his last five starts, got robbed of his 14th win when Jeurys Familia unraveled in the bottom of the ninth.  Murphy, the bane of Terry Collins’ ball club, beat out a sharp single to Asdrubal Cabrera, scoring on a base hit by Anthony Rendon.

After Jose Reyes botched a throw on Bryce Harper’s ground ball, Familia failed to corral a Wilson Ramos comebacker, which brought Rendon home with the tying run.   Pinch hitter Clint Robinson then laced a hard liner to Rivera at second base, allowing the Mets to double up Ramos at first to send the game into overtime.

In the top of the 10th, Fernando Salas recorded the first two outs before surrendering a bloop single to Jayson Werth, forcing Collins to make an emergency call to the bullpen. Jerry Blevins, facing Daniel Murphy, ran the count to 3-2, then fittingly, struck him out on a wicked breaking pitch.

It’s a shame that Syndergaard didn’t secure the well-deserved victory after seven solid innings of one-run four-hit ball.  But his 10 strikeouts brought him to 205 for the season, making him the fifth Mets pitcher to surpass 200 by the age of 24 or younger.  Not too bad of a consolation prize to become a member of a club that includes Jon Matlack, Sid Fernandez, Dwight Gooden and Tom “Terrific” Seaver.

The Mets have won eight of their last 10 and are 17-6 over their last 23 games. All in all, the Mets seized a much needed win (they’re all much needed wins now, right?) and stood their ground in the wild card standings despite a St. Louis Cardinals victory.

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The 5 Losses That Could Haunt the Mets Tue, 13 Sep 2016 16:15:35 +0000 The Mets have a razor-thin margin for error coming down the stretch and the season could come down to one game. Of course, every game counts equally, but here are five games that might haunt the Mets if they’re on the outside looking in next month.

curtis granderson

5. June 18: 4-3 loss to Braves

The Mets built an early 3-0 lead after four innings against the 21-45 Braves, but allowed a run in each of the next four innings to fall behind 4-3. The Mets, who were 0-8 with RISP that day, loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth inning, but Curtis Grandson struck out looking to end the game.

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4.  Aug. 1: 6-5 loss to Yankees (10 innings)

The Mets held a 5-3 lead heading into the 8th inning, and the Yankees had just a runner on first with two outs. Addison Reed allowed a single and wild pitch before Didi Gregorius tied the game with a single. The Yankees went ahead with a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning, but the Mets still had a chance to tie. Despite a leadoff double James Loney (who was bunted to third by the next batter), the Mets could not tie the game.

terry collins jeurys familia

3.  July 28: 2-1 loss to Rockies

After seven shutout innings by Jacob DeGrom, the Mets held a 1-0 lead entering the ninth inning. Despite being deemed unavailable before the game after blowing a save and throwing 26 pitches, Jeurys Familia was the call by Terry Collins to work just hours later in a day game. While facing six batters, Familia allowed two runs and recorded just one out.


2.  June 1: 2-1 loss to White Sox (13 innings)

Where do we begin? The Mets drew 13 walks in this game but somehow scored just one run. Eventually, the Mets lost because opposing reliever Matt Albers scored after a leadoff double in the 13th inning.

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1.  July 27: 5-4 loss to Cardinals 

This was the ultimate gut punch because of what happened beforehand. After trailing 3-1 since the third inning, Yoenis Cespedes gave the Mets the lead with a home run in the seventh inning. But in the ninth inning, Jeurys Familia blew his first regular season save in a year. The loss looms particularly large as the Mets battle the Cardinals for a Wild Card spot.

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Fernando Salas Could Be 7th Inning Fixture Thu, 08 Sep 2016 18:00:13 +0000 fernando-salas

As September 1 was rapidly approaching, Sandy Alderson knew he needed to add a viable arm for a bullpen that has had inconsistencies and injuries throughout the 2016 season. Jim Henderson being overused and then succumbing to a DL stint due to bicep tendinitis comes to mind. Or Hansel Robles losing command and control in August, putting up an ugly 9.00 ERA in 13 games, and having as many walks (12) as he did strikeouts (13). And Jonathan Niese was also given a shot at earning a bullpen role, after the team reacquired him from the Pittsburgh Pirates at the deadline for LHP Antonio Bastardo. But in six-innings out of the pen, Niese gave up seven earned runs, walked five, and gave up two home runs, before injuring his meniscus in a August 23 start in St. Louis, requiring arthroscopic knee surgery in his left knee.

Even the impeccable Jeurys Familia had a bad month in May, where in 14 games he posted a 5.40 ERA, giving up 13 hits and eight runs in 13.1 innings pitched, illustrating how even the best in the game have their underperforming moments.

Alderson was scouring the waiver wire throughout August, hoping to make a trade that would help strengthen the pen for the playoff push. So on August 31, Alderson pulled off a deal with the Los Angeles Angels for RHP Fernando Salas, a 31-year-old reliever from Mexico, in exchange for minor league right-hander Erik Manoah, a 20-year-old who was pitching for the Brooklyn Cyclones after being drafted in the 13th round in the 2014 draft. Dealing for Salas before September 1 guarantees that he can be on the postseason roster for the Mets, giving the veteran a month to showcase what he can offer.

The move went somewhat under the radar, since Salas was having a subpar season, at least in the first half of the year with the Angels. But with Salas making only $2.4 million in his final year of arbitration, the Mets would only be on the hook for $419K, so adding him was a no-brainer, and gave them another low-risk, high reward type reliever.

His numbers this year weren’t that particularly impressive for the Angels: a 3-6 record with a 4.47 ERA in 58 games. He held opponents to a .248 average and had a 1.26 WHIP. Not terrible stats, but let’s be honest, we weren’t acquiring Andrew Miller or Aroldis Chapman for the stretch run here.

However, digging deeper into Salas’ stats this season, he’s actually pitched better than his numbers advertise. For April and May, Salas appeared in 24 games and had a combined ERA of 2.48, with 22 strikeouts to only five walks. Salas held the opposition to a .617 OPS during that stretch, and had eight holds through May 23.

When May turned to June, that’s when Salas had his worst month of the year. In 12 games, Salas’ ERA ballooned to 10.32, giving up 13 runs on 14 hits in 11.1 innings. The strong strikeout-to-walk ratio he had in the first two months disappeared, as he gave up more walks (6), than strikeouts (5).

fernando salas

Injuries to Huston Street and Cam Bedrosian in August led Angels’ manager Mike Scioscia to put Salas into the closers role for the time being. Salas has ninth-inning experience from his days with the St. Louis Cardinals, saving 24-of-30 games in 2011. Salas put up more respectable numbers in his final month with the Angels, posting a 3.48 ERA in 11 games, holding opponents to a .211 average and earning the save in all four of his chances.

And looking at his post All-Star game numbers with the Angels, numbers Alderson and Co. were most likely turning to when judging whether he’d be of use with the Mets, Salas posted a 2.93 ERA in 15.1 innings, holding opponents to a .224 average in that timeframe.

It wasn’t too long ago, 2014 to be exact, that Salas was thriving and having one of his best seasons as a pro, appearing in 57 games for the Angels, pitching to a 3.38 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 58.2 innings pitched. He held the opposition to a .228 average, and had the second best WHIP of his career, at 1.09.

With the back end of the Mets’ bullpen solidified with Addison Reed and Familia, Salas will get plenty of chances to showcase his talent in the seventh inning for Terry Collins. And so far, Salas has looked strong in the four outings he’s made including in Tuesday night’s 5-3 win in Cincinnati, tossing 4.1 innings giving up only two hits, no runs, no walks, and five strikeouts with a .133 batting average against. If he can provide the Mets with a trustworthy arm in the seventh, along with Jerry Blevins against tough lefties, then passing the baton off to Reed and Familia in the eighth and ninth, that might be the winning formula for the Mets to have their best chance at shutting down games late.

This trade almost has the same feel as the Reed trade last August with the Arizona Diamondbacks, when Alderson acquired the former closer who had been struggling last year and was even optioned to Triple A Reno in June for Arizona. Reed has excelled sine being with the Mets, becoming a dominant set-up man for Familia, and posting fantastic splits and being considered one of the best relievers in the game, posting the 6th best reliever’s WAR (2.2) in baseball.

Salas has an opportunity to show Collins why he belongs in the 7th inning, and looks to gain his trust during the final month. While his numbers haven’t been sparkling throughout the 2016 campaign, Salas has the opportunity to right the ship with the Mets, in similar fashion to what Reed did last year. The palindromic right-hander might turn out to be another successful under-the-radar move for Alderson, and give the Mets a veteran option for the back-end of the bullpen.

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Bullpen Comes Up Big in 4th Consecutive Win for Amazins Wed, 07 Sep 2016 11:58:06 +0000 terry collins

It took seven Mets pitchers to contain the Reds on Monday night, and again manager Terry Collins is making all the right moves in a come from behind 5-3 victory on the road.

The Mets got their 13th straight win over Cincinnati, keeping pace with the Cardinals who overcame the Pirates with four two out runs in the top of the ninth.

With the overcrowded Wild Card race keeping every fan glued to the out of town scoreboard, teams in contention can’t afford to fold against the ball clubs that are gimmes like the Reds.

Rookie Rafael Montero tried to keep the Mets in it to win it, but lasted just 4.1 innings, surrendering three runs on three hits, four walks, and striking out four, salvaging a no-decision on the backs of his stingy bullpen brothers after a rough night with his command.

“I think he’s probably working really hard to stay out of the middle of the plate, so he’s pitching to the edges and just missing,” said manager Terry Collins.

“That’s what got him in trouble because now all of a sudden he’s got to make some pitches because when a guy’s on base, [and] he’s got to really bare down. But I’ll tell you, I’m still very impressed with the way he’s throwing. This is not the same guy I’ve seen up here. He’s a much better pitcher.”

Relievers Josh Edgin, Gabriel Ynoa, Josh Smoker, who notched his second win, Fernando Salas, Addison Reed and Jeurys Familia (46th save) were the middle and late inning law firm of shutout ball that a manager dreams of.

Salas has not allowed a run in his 4.1 innings (four outings) since he was acquired from the Angels on August 31, striking out five batters in that span. Familia earned his major league-leading 46th save as he continues polishing up his franchise record.

curtis granderson

Curtis Granderson continues to cram for late season exams with a solo shot in the 2nd, followed by Jose Reye’s huge homer to right leading off the third.

Reds left fielder Adam Duvall took Montero deep in the bottom of the inning to tie the score at 2-2, then Joey Votto’s sac fly in the fifth gave his team a short-lived lead.

Then came the turning point of the game when Yoenis Cespedes crushed a monster two run blast to center in the 7th for a 4-3 Mets lead they would never relinquish.

“Veterans run the team, they’re the ones who set the tone here,” Collins said. “Our guys really do set a tone here. They are greatly prepared, they spend a lot of time with our young guys talking about getting prepared, and they come out ready to play. … They know it’s time to step up.”

In the top of the ninth, Collins gave Alejandro De Aza the role of pinch hitter, and he delivered, pouncing the first pitch out of the park for a two run Mets lead.

It’s too early to count the second Wild Card spot before it’s hatched, but it’s feeling pretty damn promising with New York’s fourth win in a row.

And not only is that second wild card in play for the Amazins, but that top wild card is looking pretty darn good too, and it comes with home field advantage.


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Amazin’ Metscast Contest: Win a Jeurys Familia Signed Baseball Fri, 02 Sep 2016 16:00:21 +0000 image1

The Amazin’ Metscast Contest

Win a Jeurys Familia signed baseball courtesy of Steiner Sports !

Just follow the three easy steps below to enter.

1) Follow @amazinmetscast on Twitter.

2) Follow @steinersports on Twitter.

3) Retweet the tweet below

You are now entered ! Contest ends September 3rd at noon, winner to be announced at 8:00 PM ET same day.

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Jeurys Familia Sets New Mets Record With 44 Saves Thu, 01 Sep 2016 14:37:01 +0000 jeurys familia

Mets closer Jeurys Familia set a franchise record for saves in a single season on Wednesday night, pitching a perfect ninth inning to seal the team’s 5-2 victory over the Miami Marlins at Citi Field.

Familia earned his 44th save and surpassed the previous record of 43 held by himself and Armando Benitez who set the mark back in 2001.

“I just want to thank God for giving me the ability and having me healthy these couple years,” Familia said. “And then I want to say thank you to everybody in this room — my teammates, my coaches. That’s it. I’m so happy right now.”

Familia has saved 97 games for the Mets since becoming the team’s closer in 2015, ranking second in major league baseball in that span.

“I think the most important thing is to be consistent,” Familia said. “No matter what happens the night before just try to be consistent and make quality pitches.”

Manager Terry Collins knows what an integral part his All Star closer is to their playoff chances.  “We’re in the hunt now because of him and we got to the World Series last year because of him.”

The current MLB saves leader, Familia owns a 2.60 ERA and 1.203 WHIP in 64 relief appearances with 66 strikeouts. Still just 26-years old, Familia has quickly established himself as one of the greatest closers in Mets franchise history.

Original Report – Aug 31

Last night, Jeurys Familia recorded his 43rd save of the season tying the Mets single season record while continuing to set the pace for the record for most saves in consecutive seasons.

The first to record 43 saves in a season was Armando Benitez in 2001.  In addition to those 43 saves, Benitez went 6-4 with a 3.77 ERA and a  1.297 WHIP.  Notably, Benitez blew a save in late September of that season against the Braves derailing the Mets chances of winning the National League East.

The second to record 43 saves in a season was Jeurys Familia last year.  Last year, Familia was thrust in the role due to both Jenrry Mejia‘s injuries and his PED suspensions.  In addition to the 43 saves, Familia was 2-2 with an astounding 1.85 ERA and a 1.000 WHIP.

This season, Familia has been terrific even if he has not been quite as great as he was last year.  In addition to the 43 saves, Familia is 2-4 with a 2.64 ERA and a 1.223 WHIP.  Familia’s 43 saves is the most in the major leagues this season.

With 30 games left in the season, Familia is almost assured to break his and Benitez’s single season saves record.  In the interim, he will continue to set the pace for the most saves by a Mets closer in consecutive seasons.  The previous record was held by Benitez who had recorded 84 saves between the 2000 – 2001 seasons.

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Young Arms and Healthy Bats Revive Mets Wild Card Hunt Wed, 24 Aug 2016 17:10:55 +0000 jeurys familia

Another dubious decision by manager Terry Collins could have caused damaging results, but the Mets were saved by a couple of pitching prospects who performed gracefully under pressure.

In a must win series opener against the Cardinals, starter Jon Niese lasted a third of an inning as his faulty knee failed him, retiring only one of the four batters he faced.

Rookies Robert Gsellman and Josh Smoker restored order tossing a combined 5 2/3 scoreless innings to keep the Mets alive and well in the wild card hunt, with Gsellman getting the 7-4 win in his major league debut.

Gsellman’s introduction to the bigs was foreboding when his first offering was drilled for a double off the bat of Yadier Molina, scoring two of the runners he inherited from Niese.  After Jhonny Peralta tied it up with a ground out to Reyes, the young right-hander struck out Jedd Gyorko, maintaining his cool for the rest of his joyous stay.

Even though Gsellman was warned Niese may have an early exit.  “It was my first time ever coming out of the bullpen, so it felt kind of awkward,” Gsellman said. “You still have to take the mound the same way as when you’re starting.”

Gsellman showed some jitters, but also flashed some big-league stuff after that Molina double, and we saw some of the maturity and pitching smarts that his former B-Mets manager Pedro Lopez talked about in April.

“I think he’s going to be the next guy, I really believe so,” Lopez said of Gsellman. “He probably doesn’t light you guys up with the radar gun. Probably he doesn’t throw the 97, 98 like Syndergaard, Wheeler, Harvey, Matz. I’ll tell you what, this guy — we talked about him in the meetings when big-league camp started.”

Another interesting point in the cited article, was that despite trading away 10 minor-league pitchers last season, the Mets held on to Gsellman and then added him to the 40-man roster last off-season to protect him in the Rule 5 Draft. It seemed obvious he was being regarded as a keeper.

wilmer flores hr

Offensively for the Mets, they continue to flex some more muscle since they’ve gotten healthier. Wilmer Flores drew first blood last night, with a three run blast in the top of the first, which Niese gave right back in the bottom of the inning.

But Jose Reyes and Asdrubal Cabrera, red hot from his return from the DL, regained the lead on consecutive run-scoring hits in the 2nd, then Justin Ruggiano provided a signature moment when he crushed a solo shot to center for a 6-3 cushion in the 4th.  The 461-foot blast eclipsed the 457-foot homer by Yoenis Cespedes that was deemed the longest of the season. 

After a Randal Grichuk line drive home run closed the gap 6-4, James Loney picked a fine time to break his slump with a flare to center field, tacking on another dose of insurance.

St. Louis had many attempts to get back in the game, but the Mets bullpen of Jerry Blevins, Jim Henderson, and Addison Reed muscled their way out of men in scoring position, paving the way for Jeurys Familia’s MLB-leading 42nd save.

This monumental win puts the Mets 3 ½ games within striking distance of St. Louis for the second wild card spot, and a chance to gain more ground on Wednesday when Jacob deGrom, looking to redeem himself after his last dreadful outing against the Giants, takes the mound.

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