Mack Ade - Jeurys Famila


Boy, is this a hard guy to write about.

On paper, Jeurys Familia is one of the top five closers in the business. He’s now pitched in 247 Mets games over his 5-year career, finished 155 of them, ‘closed’ 100, and produced  a stat line of 2.46, 1.18, 9.18-K/9. All this before his 27th birthday. 2017 will be his ARB-2 year and could be a candidate to negotiate a long term contract because he is eligible for free agency in 2019.

Sounds perfect, right?

And then came October 31, 2016 when police arrested Familia and charged him with simple assault against his wife at his Ft. Lee, New Jersey apartment. The charges were dropped six weeks later when his wife said she never felt that her life was in danger.

A decision on whether or not Familia will be suspended hasn’t been made yet, so where do we go?

One of our returning Mack’s Mets writers, David Rubin, says –

One pitch- one pitch does NOT a career make. And yet, many Mets fans were ready to throw Jeurys Familia onto the scrap-heap due to one errant pitch and one costly loss. Familia has long had intriguing stuff; setting up for Jennry Mejia was a waste of his talent, but the way he was thrown into closing isn't the way anyone wants such things to happen. If Mejia was never suspended for PEDs, though, it's always possible that Familia would've still been an eight inning specialist, certainly not the spot anyone anticipated for him when he began his Mets' tenure as a future cog in the rotation.

As Mack said, his stats over the past 5 years have been exceptional; he's handled great pressure in the toughest market in the world, and ANY reliever can be taken deep at any time, including the legendary Mariano Rivera!!! Familia's talent is exceptional, and up until his shocking arrest on Halloween, he'd have been the LAST player on the team, short of David Wright, whom you'd think would be in trouble for putting his hands on his wife! After all, he did PSA's against Domestic Violence!!!!

Familia's natural talent and drive towards both a future, long-term contract as well as putting this situation behind him will certainly see a return to form for him; WHEN that's going to happen is to be determined, as Commissioner Manfred is pissed at both Familia and his wife for their lack of cooperation with MLB's investigation. As much as I want Familia back from a selfish, baseball-related standpoint, he MUST be suspended, lose both service time and more importantly money as a (small) punishment for a very serious incident. Make no mistake, folks- Domestic Violence is a VERY serious issue and there can be no making light of this situation. Whatever the Commissioner deems is the appropriate punishment, we'll have to grin and bear it because the issue is FAR more important and serious then the composition of our bullpen.

When Familia returns, I expect a return to form, stats-wise; how he'll handle the booing is another story. I hope this doesn't become an instance of a player needing a change of scenery to put this horrible incident behind him...

Christopher Sotoalso of Mack's Mets, adds this - 

Say what you want about Familia's character issues that came to light this off-season.....but when you discuss Jeurys Familia, THE PLAYER, you have yourself an uber-talented young power arm who's averaged 47 saves and 85 K's per season since he became the Mets full time closer. Familia was so good in 2016 that he actually picked up more NL MVP voting points than Noah Syndergaard.

Statistically speaking, Familia is one of the Top 5 closers in baseball right now and that has significant value when you're discussing playoff caliber teams. His sinker...as long as he has command of it...is one of the best pitches in baseball coming in a ridiculous 97mph with almost 6 inches of drop. That command though is the key thing. In 2016, Familia had stretches where he lost that command causing his BB/9 to increase from his career best 2.2 per 9 IP in 2015 to 3.6 per 9. If he can learn to keep his composure and harness that sinker....no one will touch him in 2017.

Once he returns sometime in May, it will push Reed back into the 8th inning role and lengthen the bullpen back into the mold that produced the 6th best results in the MLB last year.

Mark Edelman of Forbes Magazine   said regarding  a possible suspension –

“pursuant to the Major League Baseball domestic violence policy, Rob Manfred may still choose to discipline Jeurys Familia if the league independently finds "just cause" for doing so. Although past commissioner suspensions do not serve as binding precedent for future commissioner suspensions, past punishments indeed serve as reasonable guideposts under the "just cause" standard.”

Opinion: Familia made a mistake, but not on the mound. He’s a great relief pitcher that only has to get past playoff games out of his head. 


Tom Brennan said...

Did the crime, serve the time, and get back on the hill and save 40 games. We all make mistakes, Jeurys, come back with a chip on your shoulder.

Mack Ade said...

Just don't even hit the wall coming out of the pen...

bgreg98180 said...

Positive unintended consequence of any suspension: Familia has put a lot of high stress pitches/innings on his arm over the past few years. ....the time off will allow his arm to rest and hopefully avoid injury due to over-use.

Reese Kaplan said...

Who would overuse him? Surely not the experienced veteran manager who understands it's a marathon and not a sprint? He MUST know how to handle pitchers, right?

Tom Brennan said...

Reese, he'll still get Familia in 90 games.

Eddie Corona said...

2 questions... several of my friends believe after the past 2 post seasons that Familia is the New Benitez... ( I think familia is better but i can see thier points)
and secondly if Reed is lights out...why should we remove him from the closers role... maybe that should be familia's punishment?

Mack Ade said...

Eddie -

Reed knows he is just filling in and the closer job is Familia's

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