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Familia face to pitch in Brooklyn

Mets All-Star Closer Continues Rehab Stint this Week with Cyclones

August 22, 2017 By John Torenli, Sports Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Mets All-Star closer Jeurys Familia will be appearing twice out of the Brooklyn bullpen this week as they open an extended homestand against Hudson Valley. AP Photo by Jeff Roberson
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Maybe MCU Park should be called the New York Mets’ rehab and recovery unit.

For the second time in the past week, one of the parent club’s previously injured All-Star hurlers will use the Brooklyn Cyclones’ sun-splashed facility by the sea to make positive strides on his return to the big leagues.

The Cyclones announced that Mets All-Star closer Jeurys Familia, who has been out of action since May 10 after undergoing surgery to remove a blood clot near his right shoulder, would make a pair of relief appearances with the Baby Bums this week.

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Familia, 27, led the National League with 51 saves last season, earning his first career All-Star selection and pitching the Mets into the N.L. wild card game in which he infamously surrendered a game-winning three-run home run to San Francisco’s Conor Gillaspie.

He was scheduled to pitch at least an inning on Tuesday night against Hudson Valley and again Wednesday vs. the Renegades as he tries to throw in back-to-back games for the first time during his long journey back to the Mets.

The hulking right-hander managed only three saves in 11 outings this year before shutting it down with the shoulder ailment.

He has looked strong during his previous two rehab outings this summer, yielding one hit and striking out four while walking two over four innings in two appearances with Class-A Advanced St. Lucie last week.

The Mets are doubtlessly hoping Familia can rejoin them before the end of what has been a lost season in Flushing.

They have already dealt Familia’s replacement at the back end of the bullpen, Addison Reed, to Boston prior to the July 31 trade deadline, and are longing for some late-inning relief they can rely on.

Familia will follow former Mets ace Matt Harvey on the Brooklyn mound.

Harvey, who has been out since the middle of June with a stress injury to the scapula bone in his right shoulder, enjoyed his time with the Class A short-season Cyclones last Wednesday night.

The 2013 All-Star Game starter tossed three scoreless innings here against Aberdeen and followed it up with another three-inning stint for Double-A Binghamton Monday night.

“It was my first time here,” Harvey noted following his Coney Island debut. “It was cool to see the roller coaster in the background, and all the guys were great.”

Familia won’t be a stranger to the beachside ballpark as he previously rehabbed with Brooklyn back in 2013, surrendering an unearned run in one inning of work.

The star power in Brooklyn has doubtlessly helped with fan interest as the Cyclones are wallowing at the bottom of the McNamara Division standings with a league-worst 15-43 record.

The struggling Cyclones could also use a closer after squandering a two-run lead in the bottom of the ninth inning at Tri-City on Monday night, resulting in a gut-wrenching 10-6 loss to the ValleyCats, who walked off on the Baby Bums when Colton Shaver belted a game-ending grand slam off Brooklyn reliever Joe Napolitano.

Things got heated after Shaver’s second homer of the game as both benches emptied when Napolitano took exception to Tri-City’s celebratory antics.

The loss extended the Cyclones’ franchise-record skid to 11 consecutive games dating to a 9-4 victory at West Virginia on Aug. 9. Brooklyn has dropped seven straight contests in Coney Island since beating Tri-City here on Aug. 2.

Jose Maria went 2-for-5 with a solo homer and Dylan Snipes added a pair of hits and an RBI for the Baby Bums in their latest defeat.

Tuesday night’s contest versus Hudson Valley kicks off an extended homestand for Brooklyn, which will be in the area for the better part of the next weeks, including a couple of “road” games in Staten Island this weekend against the first-place Staten Island Yankees, who own the circuit’s top record at 38-20.

With only 18 games remaining on their grueling summer slate, the ‘Clones hope to save some face down the stretch, and help the parent club get a bit healthier by sliding some All-Star talent into their pitching staff.

This, That and the Other Thing: How tough has first-year Brooklyn manager and Mets icon Edgardo Alfonzo’s summer been? The ’Clones rank dead last in the 14-team league with just 203 runs scored, and they also own the worst collective ERA on the circuit at 4.74. Whether Alfonzo will be back for a second year will doubtlessly rely heavily on how well the players under his tutelage develop on their way toward the big leagues, rather than on the team’s success in the standings. … Count second base prospect Walter Rasquin, who plays the same position Alfonzo did during his big league career, as a feather in the neophyte manager’s cap. The 21-year-old infielder earned a NY-Penn All-Star selection and is currently hitting a team-best .293 (among qualifying players) with 18 doubles, a triple and 12 RBIs over 47 games.


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