Jeurys Familia will be back Friday night.The Mets closer may not pitch the ninth inning in meaningless games at Washington this weekend after being activated off the disabled list, but for Familia and the Mets any time he takes a major-league mound in these final six weeks will be important.
“I want to finish the season right now, I know I can pitch, just like I said,” Familia, who pitched on back-to-back days on a minor-league rehab assignment in Brooklyn this week, said. “I want to have a couple outings at the end of the season, offseason relax in my house and I want to make sure they can see 100% that I am healthy.”
And after missing three months of facing major league hitters, Familia needs to see that too.
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“Yeah, I want to know that before I go home,” Familia said of reassuring himself before heading into the offseason. “I know I am healthy. I know I can pitch. I just want to do it before I go home (to the Dominican Republic) and relax for the winter.”
Familia is coming back from surgery to have a blood clot removed in his shoulder, a surgery in mid-May that many thought would have him out the rest of the season. The 27-year old has had a very smooth return and is scheduled to pitch in lower-leverage innings over the weekend.
“We’ll make sure he’s pitched a few games before he does that (close games),” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “He’s still on the comeback trail. I think we’ve got to be careful. We know he can do back-to-back back days, even though he went the last two days, and then we’ll worry (about closing.)”
Familia is more concerned about being able to feel comfortable on the mound than what inning he pitches.
“I know right now my arm is 100% good,” Familia said. “I don’t worry about that. I just try to get here and do my job.”
Familia said that the doctors have assured him that the blood clot issue is not one he has to worry about reoccurring. He said that the only symptoms he suffered were an occasional numbness in his right middle finger and coldness in his hands. He admitted that may have affected the command of his pitches in his last big league appearance before surgery, May 10 when he allowed three runs on two hits in a third of an inning against the Giants.
“Honestly I think the last day I pitched, I feel like my command is way different,” Familia said.
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