Coming off a mostly throwaway 2017 season from suspension and injury, Jeurys Familia has returned to dominance on the mound this year and has been everything the New York Mets need early on
Heading into this season Mickey Callaway said that the Mets may not have a specific closer in place, “We’re not locked into that. I think that we have to make sure we get to a save situation, and if we can’t get there, it doesn’t do any good to have this guy be named the closer. So we’re going to pitch guys when it makes sense, and we’re going to do everything we can to win every night.”
Though coupled with the Mets hot start, Familia has had more than enough chances to earn his saves. In fact, he’s the first closer to earn six saves in 10 games, since Sergio Romo did it for the Giants back in 2013. Those six saves, match the number he put up in total all of last season and currently lead major league baseball.
The right-hander has struck out 10 in eight innings while allowing only four hits and three walks in that span. Impressive he’s been able to keep his walk rate down as well, 3.4 BB/9 after 5.4 BB/9 last season. He’s part of the reason the Mets have been able to hang on to those late game leads that they’ve been able to take with six come-from-behind wins.
Part of the success for Familia could come from his higher usage (23% compared to 15% last year) of his slider, which opponents have yet to get a hit off.
All in all, it’s a promising start for Familia and the Mets bullpen that has the second best ERA in baseball at 1.49 through 11 games.