Struggling Familia has sore shoulder, goes on IL

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Thursday, May 2, 2019

NEW YORK -- Jeurys Familia hasn't been very effective in his return to the New York Mets. Now he won't be available for a while.

The struggling reliever was placed on the 10-day injured list on Wednesday because of a sore right shoulder, one day after he blew a save chance against Cincinnati. Familia coughed up a two-run lead in the ninth inning Tuesday and informed the Mets that his shoulder was bothering him the following morning, manager Mickey Callaway said.

The right-hander had an MRI that came back "fairly clean," according to Callaway, and he was given a cortisone injection. Callaway said Familia does have a Bennett lesion, which is basically a bone spur, that he has dealt with for years and flares up on him occasionally.

"That's probably what he's feeling," Callaway said.

General manager Brodie Van Wagenen said the injection "hopefully should take care of it."

"I don't have real long-term concern. Every time you put a player on the IL, you have to hold your breath to a degree. But I think the report we got from the doctors today gives us every bit of confidence that this shouldn't be a long-term issue," Van Wagenen said.

"It's something that he experienced last year and had a similar situation," the GM added. "Hopefully it's only a couple of days, and then hopefully the program will allow him to be back up and running when he comes off the IL."

To replace Familia in their leaky bullpen, the Mets selected the contract of left-hander Ryan O'Rourke from Triple-A Syracuse, where he was 0-1 with a 4.61 ERA and one save in 13 2/3 innings.

Familia's absence will put more pressure on Seth Lugo, Robert Gsellman and others to help set up closer Edwin Diaz.

"I think that we have a couple of options," Callaway said. "Sometimes you've got to get out of your comfort zone and take on a role that you haven't quite taken on in a while or have never taken on and get the job done."

Veteran lefty Justin Wilson has been sidelined since April 20 with a sore elbow, and New York's rebuilt bullpen entered Wednesday ranked 28th in the majors with a 5.38 ERA.

Wilson threw on flat ground Wednesday and looked really good, according to Callaway.

"He's getting closer and closer, and he'll throw off the mound again, and we'll try to figure out if he needs to face some live hitters before he's activated," Callaway said.

In Wednesday's 1-0 loss to the Reds, O'Rourke and Lugo combined to work a scoreless eighth inning before Jose Iglesias homered off Diaz in the top of the ninth to lead the Reds to a 1-0 win.

Second baseman Robinson Cano was back in the starting lineup and went 1-for-4 with a double after missing two games with a swollen left hand. Cano was hit by a pitch from Milwaukee left-hander Gio Gonzalez in the first inning Sunday.

Familia has been one of the biggest flops on a disappointing New York pitching staff early this season. He is 2-0 with a 6.28 ERA in 14 appearances after signing a $30 million, three-year contract to rejoin the Mets as a free agent last December.

Traded by the Mets to Oakland last July, the former All-Star closer returned to be the primary setup man for Diaz. Familia, however, has walked 13 batters in 14 1/3 innings and allowed earned runs in six of his past 10 outings.

"The stuff has been there," Callaway said. "If he was feeling uncomfortable, that can lead to command issues. So we'll see."

With Diaz unavailable Tuesday night after pitching three straight days, Familia was asked to get a six-out save. He got through the eighth inning and struck out the first two hitters in the ninth before issuing a four-pitch walk and giving up three consecutive singles that allowed the Reds to tie the game. New York bounced back to win 4-3 in 10 innings.

Speaking through an interpreter after the game, Familia acknowledged that he was "having kind of a bad season" and had "lost a little bit of confidence from time to time."

The 29-year-old Familia ranks third in Mets history with 123 saves. He set a franchise record with 51 in 2016, when he led the majors and was selected to the NL All-Star team. He had 43 saves in 2015, helping New York reach the World Series.

In 2017, Familia had a blood clot in his right shoulder that required surgery.