Jeurys Familia

From BR Bullpen

Jeurys Familia Mojica

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 4", Weight 230 lb.

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Biographical Information[edit]

Jeurys Familia made his major league debut in 2012.

Familia signed with the New York Mets; the scouts were Marcelino Vallejo and international scouting director Ismael Cruz and debuted as a pro with the 2008 GCL Mets, going 2-2 with a 2.79 ERA. He was 8th in the Gulf Coast League in ERA. Moving up to the Savannah Sand Gnats in 2009, Jeurys improved to 10-6, 2.69 with a .221 opponent average. He had the lowest opponent average of a Mets farmhand and tied Chris Schwinden for the most victories. Familia was third in the South Atlantic League in ERA behind Juan Nicasio and Ari Ronick. he was named the Mets Organizational Pitcher of the Year.

The Santo Domingo native opened 2010 with the St. Lucie Mets, where he plummeted to 0-4, 6.16 after 11 starts with 32 walks in 49 2/3 innings. That made him a surprising pick for the 2010 Futures Game. A couple weeks before the Game, he plunked Tony Sanchez, a fellow selection, with a pitch that ended Sanchez's season, breaking his jaw. Familia relieved Eduardo Sánchez in the 8th inning of the Futures Game, with the World team already down 7-1 and two outs. He promptly allowed three straight doubles - to Mike Trout, Eric Hosmer and Andrew Romine - to make it 9-1. He finally got an out, retiring Ben Revere on a grounder.

Familia made his major league debut with the Mets late in the 2012 season, pitching 8 times with no decisions and a 5.84 ERA. In 2013, he pitched 9 times with a 4.22 ERA and his first career save. He then spent all of 2014 with the Mets, as the set-up man for the Mets, pitching 76 times - third most in the National League - with a record of 2-5, an excellent 2.21 ERA and 5 saves. He struck out 73 men in 77 1/3 innings. He was slated to return in the same role in 2015, but an early injury to closer Jenrry Mejia, following by a lengthy suspension, propelled him into the closer role. He took to the duty as a fish to water, saving five games in six days in early April. He ended up with 43 saves and a National League-leading 65 games finished while putting up a 1.85 ERA in 76 games. He struck out 86 batters in 76 innings, while walking only 19. He was outstanding in the first two rounds of the postseason, saving 5 games in 8 appearances while keeping his ERA virgin in 9 2/3 innings. In the World Series, facing the Kansas City Royals, however, he was charged with three blown saves, but in large part because he was asked to extricate the Mets from impossible situations, and not because he had pitched poorly. For example, in the decisive Game 5 on November 1st, he replaced Matt Harvey in the 9th inning with no one out, the tying run on second base, and the Royals all pumped up after breaking through to score a run and chase Harvey from the game; Jeurys retired all three batters he faced on weak ground balls, but some extremely aggressive baserunning by Eric Hosmer resulted in the Royals scoring the tying run and sending the game to extra innings. In all, he gave up only three hits and no walks in 5 innings in the World Series, but it was enough for the pesky Royals to complete three late-game comebacks.

Before the 2016 season started, Jenrry Mejia was handed the first-ever lifetime suspension under the joint drug treatment program, but the Mets did not fret too much because they considered that Jeurys had clearly demonstrated that he was up to handling the job of closer. he showed no ill effects from his tough times in the previous year's World Series as he made good in his first 36 save opportunities before finally blowing a lead against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 27th. Going back to the previous season (not counting the postseason), he had converted 52 straight saves, the third longest streak in major league history. His strong performance over the first half had resulted in his being named to the All-Star team for the first time. The day after blowing his first save in almost a year, on July 28th, he blew a lead again, although he was originally supposed to be rested after enduring a heavy workload. Instead, he was sent out to protect a one-run 9th-inning lead over the Colorado Rockies and allowed a pair of runs as the Mets lost 2-1. This was enough to send early panic waves in the Big Apple, with the trading deadline only a couple of days away. However, Familia not only finished the season as the Mets' closer, but he led the major leagues with 51 saves as the Mets rode a late-season surge to a postseason slot, hosting the 2016 National League Wild Card Game against the San Francisco Giants. But, as in the previous year's World Series, things did not go well for Jeurys. He was called to the mound in the top of the 9th in a scoreless tie, but surrounded a lead-off double by Brandon Crawford. After he struck out Angel Pagan for the first out, he walked Joe Panik, then Conor Gillaspie tagged him for a three-run homer. Madison Bumgarner then completed a masterful shutout and the Mets were eliminated.

In the early hours of October 31, 2016, Familia was arrested on a domestic violence charge in Fort Lee, NJ, following a frantic telephone call to 911 by his wife, who said he was drunk and "going crazy". He pleaded not guilty, and the prosecutor dropped the charges on December 15th, but he still faced likely discipline from Major League Baseball. Just as spring training was about to conclude on March 29, 2017, he was issued a 15-game suspension from the start of the season by MLB. He had in the meantime been able to take part in the 2017 World Baseball Classic with the Dominican Republic national team, in addition to taking part in the Mets' spring training. He returned to the mound on April 20th, but after only 11 games, during which he went 1-1, 3.86 with 3 saves and as many blown saves, he was diagnosed on May 11th with an arterial clot in his right shoulder. He underwent surgery and was expected to miss three to four months, although the Mets were hopeful of seeing him back before the end of the season. He did indeed return on August 25th, although the Mets said he would be used carefully, given the Mets were well out of the postseason race and A.J. Ramos had done a good job as the closer in his absence. In all, he pitched just 26 times, going 2-2, 4.38 with 6 saves.

On July 21, 2018, he was traded to the Oakland Athletics in return for two prospects, Bobby Wahl and Will Toffey, and $1 million in international bonus pool money. He was joining an already great bullpen led by Blake Treinen and Lou Trivino for a team that had not expected to find itself in the postseason picture. In 40 games for the Mets, he had gone 4-4, 2.88 with 17 saves. For Oakland, he went 4-2, 3.45 in 30 games, with 1 save. He also pitched a perfect inning in relief in Oakland's loss to the New York Yankees in the Wild Card Game. He was a free agent after the season and on December 12th, he returned to the Mets with a contract for three years and $30 million. The Mets had acquired a new closer in Edwin Diaz earlier that off-season, so it meant that Jeurys would likely be the set-up man in 2019.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • NL All-Star (2016)
  • NL Saves Leader (2016)
  • 30 Saves Seasons: 2 (2015 & 2016)
  • 40 Saves Seasons: 2 (2015 & 2016)
  • 50 Saves Seasons: 1 (2016)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Bob Klapisch: "MLB frustrated by Familia investigation", USA Today, January 31, 2017. [1]
  • Mike Vorkunov: "Mets closer Jeurys Familia 'surprised' at early success", USA Today Sports, August 27, 2016. [2]


Related Sites[edit]