RHP Jeurys Familia hit 97 mph on the radar gun and gave up one run and three hits in one inning in his Grapefruit League debut during Monday's 5-2 loss to the Astros at First Data Field.
"I thought that was a pretty good first day," manager Terry Collins said after the game. "I thought he threw the ball well."
Familia said after the game that he felt good and is ready to pitch for the Dominican Republic during the World Baseball Classic (WBC), which begins in March.
The investigation into Familia's domestic violence incident from last October is still ongoing, though reports indicate MLB will make a final decision regarding a potential suspension between the end of the WBC and Opening Day.
Mets relievers Jeurys Familia and Addison Reed (Credit: USA Today Sports Images)
Familia is expected to be suspended at least 30 games to start the season, despite having all charges dropped against him, sources told Daily News reporter Kristie Ackert in December.
"You have got to get him ready for the season, you can't sit here because nobody knows how long," Collins recently said, when asked about preparing Familia for the season, despite him possibly missing the start of the season. "That's our job and certainly right now we've got to get him ready to go pitch the WBC."
Familia has looked calm, happy and powerful in what I've seen of him this spring, be it during bullpen sessions, live batting practice or during Monday's game. Unfortunately for the Mets, this means nothing, since the first meaningful pitch he throws in 2017 will probably not be until late May, early June. So, the question is, how will the WBC, followed by a layout, impact his season?
On one hand, I can see how it might hurt him, given the stop and start and chance of hitting a dead-arm stretch during July and August. On the other hand, it could actually help, since he should be well rested and fresh when hitting June.
Typically, he would have pitched in roughly 25 games and thrown 25 or so innings at that point in the season. This year, he will have thrown none. And, since Terry Collins has a tendency to run his best relievers in the ground by August, having Familia show up with a fresh arm may actually end up being a good thing for Collins. Plus, A LOT of Familia's struggles in the postseason the last two years is directly connected to fatigue, as his arm angle dips and he gets less bite on his sinker.