The Mets announced on Thursday that closer Jeurys Familia has been activated from the restricted list after serving his 15-game suspension under Major League Baseball’s domestic violence policy. The team also recalled catcher Kevin Plawecki from Triple-A Las Vegas and optioned right-hander Rafael Montero and left-hander Sean Gilmartin to Vegas.
Familia, 27, will rejoin a Mets bullpen that currently ranks in the middle of the pack, league-wide, in terms of earned run average. Of course, that includes some problematic innings from Montero (seven earned runs, 6 2/3 frames), who was optioned out today upon Familia’s activation. While manager Terry Collins has said Familia will be eased back into the closer’s role, Addison Reed figures to see a few more save opportunities before Familia fully reclaims his previous role.
Familia was arrested back in early November after allegedly assaulting his wife, but the charges were dropped at his wife’s request the following month. As we saw last year in the suspensions of Aroldis Chapman and Jose Reyes, however, a lack of criminal charges is not necessarily an impediment to a suspension under the league’s still fairly new policy. Beyond his 15-game suspension (and the lost salary that accompanies that punishment — about $730K, in Familia’s case), the right-hander agreed to make a donation and speak to several rookie players on the matter. Familia also underwent extensive counseling sessions this offseason.
From a purely on-field vantage point, the return of Familia will be a boon to the Mets’ relief corps. Over the past three seasons, the hard-throwing righty has amassed 233 innings with a 2.20 ERA, 243 strikeouts and 70 unintentional walks. He led the National League with 51 saves in 2016, saved 43 games the year before and has led the Senior Circuit in games finished in each of the past two seasons (a combined 132 games).