PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Terry Collins' Thursday press conference included praise for reliever Jeurys Familia.
New York Mets
Familia, 24, had a 4.22 ERA in 10 2/3 innings with the Mets last season. He underwent June 5 surgery to remove bone spurs and loose bodies from his right elbow. One of his nine major-league appearances last season came in September, after recovering from the surgery.
The Mets also had Familia pitch in the Arizona Fall League to make up for the missed work. Familia then made six appearances with Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League.
"He showed some bright, bright spots last summer," Collins said. "When he's in the strike zone, his stuff is at times unhittable. He had a great Fall League. He had a great winter ball. He's got his elbow cleaned out now. That certainly shouldn't be an issue. We're hoping that he comes into camp with a fresh attitude. I think the addition of Bartolo [Colon] and Jose [Valverde] will help him -- certainly Jose, with his background in that role.
"As Dan [Warthen] and I have talked many times, we all keep trying to find back-end-of-the-bullpen guys. This guy has got the stuff to do any of those jobs. He could close. He's got that kind of a sinker that's a swing-and-miss sinker. He's got a swing-and-miss slider. We've just got to get him to get it around the plate. And if he does that, he's going to be dangerous. You can't find guys that throw 96 to 98 [mph] with that kind of movement. And you can't give up on those guys."
Also from the press conference:
Collins was headed Thursday afternoon with other Mets staffers to Jupiter, Fla., to get more clarity about the new rules preventing home-plate collisions as well as regarding instant replay. MLB's Joe Torre and Tony La Russa are due to lead the session.
"I don't really have the final wording of the play at home plate," Collins said. "I know they've already tweaked the challenge stuff a little bit. I don't even know if it'll be final. Actually, at the winter meetings they said when they see it work in spring training there may be some other tweaks that go on before the season starts. We'll just wait to see what they say today."