And now Jeurys Familia is likely heading to the disabled list. The Mets closer, who has struggled to start the season, was diagnosed with an arterial clot in his right shoulder Thursday.
The Mets announced Familia is heading to St. Louis to meet with Dr. Robert Thompson, an expert in circulation issues including Thoracic Outlet Syndrome. He diagnosed and performed surgery on Matt Harvey last summer. He also performed the 2012 surgery on then-Mets pitcher Dillon Gee, who was similarly diagnosed with a blood clot in his shoulder. Gee also missed the rest of the season.
Familia has clearly not been pitching to his normal form.
He has struggled to get going this season after serving a 15-game suspension under the MLB domestic violence policy. He suffered his first blown save Wednesday, pulled from the Mets’ 6-5 loss to the Giants after allowing four runs, three earned, on two hits and two walks.
Familia said after the game his command was off, but his arm felt fine.
“I feel great,” Familia said. “ My arm feels great. I just didn’t have it today.”
But the Mets had privately worried about Familia, who just hasn’t been getting as many hitters to swing and miss at his sinker this season. A scout who watched him this season said there was reason for concern.
“He seems completely disinterested,” the scout said. “His body language stinks. His velocity is (down), it used to be better. It should still be good enough to get outs when located. His splitter seems to have less drop. He has left the ball up far too much.”
The Mets’ main concern with Familia in the past has been overuse. Last season, he saved a club record 51 games and made 78 appearances. Over the last two years, Familia has pitched 155.2 innings.
That subject of overuse was broached Wednesday, as well. Familia had appeared in a 6-1 win on Tuesday night and then came in Wednesday. Collins said that was not the issue, citing that Familia has been successful on back-to-back-to-back days in the past.
Familia pitched on three consecutive days on six occasions in 2016, only blowing saves in two of those games. He did it four times after taking over the closer role in 2015 and recorded a save in each of those games — except for a suspended game.
After serving his 15-game ban, Familia’s workload has been well behind where it was last season. He had 11 saves in 16 appearances by May 9, 2016. He has three in 11 this season.