Mets activate Familia after 15-game ban
NEW YORK — Mets closer Jeurys Familia rejoined the team Thursday after serving a 15-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy, saying he was ready to pitch in any role.
New York manager Terry Collins said he originally had planned to ease Familia back into action but, with a worn-down bullpen, “that may not be the case tonight” against Philadelphia.
Familia, 27, led the majors with a team-record 51 saves last year. The suspension cost him $730,328 of his $7,425,000 salary.
“I can’t wait to get back on that mound,” Familia said through a translator.
Familia hugged several Phillies in the outfield during batting practice and spent the rest of the time shagging fly balls with his teammates.
“I’m very happy to be back with this team,” he said. “I’ve missed these guys very much.”
The Mets made a series of roster moves before the game.
Familia was activated from the restricted list, and catcher Kevin Plawecki was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas. Right-hander Rafael Montero and lefty Sean Gilmartin were optioned to Triple-A, and third baseman David Wright was transferred to the 60-day disabled list while recovering from neck surgery.
The Mets were still short-handed going into the series wrapup with the Phillies.
First baseman Lucas Duda was out with a hyperextended left elbow, infielder Wilmer Flores was sidelined with an infection and catcher Travis d’Arnaud didn’t start because of a bruised right wrist. Collins said he didn’t have any definitive word on how long the three would be out.
Familia took part in spring training and recently pitched two scoreless innings in the minors while preparing for his return.
He was arrested last October on a simple assault charge after his wife was left with scratches on her chest and a bruise on her cheek. A judge dismissed charges in December after Familia’s wife told a prosecutor her husband did not hurt her.
Addison Reed, usually the Mets’ setup man, picked up all four saves for the club while Familia was suspended, and Collins hoped to avoid overusing him. The team’s relievers hit a rough patch lately, not that Familia saw those struggles.
Familia said he had seen some of the Mets’ games, but not all of them, while “working out, preparing for this moment.”