For the first time since Jenrry Mejia got suspended, Jeurys Familia will not be expected to be the closer the for the Mets. Familia has had an unfair reputation since the 2015 post-season when the Mets collapsed in several world series games late, generally because the defense fell apart. All Familia has done since that point is be dominant.
Part of the reason he has never shaken that reputation is his WHIP. In his career it’s 1.211 but you probably already knew that because it feels like there is someone always on base when he pitches, the inning can never be easy. He still cuts through runners on base and gets the job done, many times as a Met having to go beyond one inning (thanks to Terry Collins‘ bullpen management).
Last year the Mets traded Familia to the Athletics and it felt like the Mets got hosed in the trade deal (they have since traded one of the two players, Bobby Wahl to the Brewers and got Keon Broxton out of it, so the trade seems a little more fair now). Last year Familia put up these numbers:
2018: 72 IP, 3.13 ERA, 2.65 FIP, 1.222 WHIP, 10.4 K/9, 1.4 WAR, 3.94 DRA
Career: 2.73 ERA, 2.92 FIP, 1.211 WHIP, 9.4 K/9, 3.58 DRA
Going into last year, Familia was the main player in the bullpen with Gsellman and Lugo as an experiment. This year Familia has Diaz, who is the star, and Gsellman/Lugo have figured out how to pitch in the pen. The pen is much stronger and won’t have to constantly rely on Familia to bail them out. Here is how computers see Familia’s 2019:
(Citations: Baseball Prospectus (BP) projections are from the Baseball Prospectus annual which can you can get here. It’s highly recommended. ESPN projections can be found here. ZiPS can be found here. Steamer can be found here. Baseball Reference projections (BR) can found on the players BR page which linked elsewhere on this article. )
A 3.29 ERA from our set up man would be great for 2019. Normally I would be concerned from a high leverage reliever having a 1.24 WHIP, but Familia’s career WHIP is 1.21, it’s just how he pitches.
As a side note Familia is an odd case with projections. Generally for players who have been in the league a long time, the projected stats are close together. Look the variance though! It’s wild!