NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Jeurys Familia is having a fine old time at the World Baseball Classic. The Mets are watching with one eye closed, cringing.
According to the Daily News, the Mets are not happy with how much the Dominican Republic team has used the star closer in the tournament.
Take Sunday’s 10-3 win over Colombia, for instance. Familia came on in the ninth inning of a one-sided game and was pumping 99 mph fastballs. Mets manager Terry Collins told the newspaper his bigger concern was how many warmup pitches the star right-hander threw before starting that inning.
In all, Familia, who is the first Dominican-born closer to record 50 saves in a season, has thrown 2 1/3 innings so far at the WBC. And while that may not seem like a lot, the Mets have made it their mission to lessen their top players’ spring workloads in order to make sure everyone is ready for the early part of the regular season.
General manager Sandy Alderson has said publicly he’s fine with how the Dominican Republic is using Familia, but behind the scenes some have told the Daily News they wish he was used less.
“It’s not great,” one Mets source told the newspaper.
The Dominican Republic team, which is 3-0 in the tournament, may be playing for a while, too. It begins the second round of pool play on Tuesday night against Puerto Rico in San Diego. Familia’s team will also play Venezuela on Thursday and the United States on Saturday. If the Dominican Republic advances, the championship round begins on Monday.
This mini-controversy comes as MLB is finishing up its investigation into Familia’s arrest for domestic violence back in October. He still faces a possible suspension, a decision that could come down before opening day, according to commissioner Rob Manfred.
In the interim, Familia has used the offseason to try to put an awful end to the 2016 season behind him. In addition to his arrest, he takes the field this spring knowing he still has to make amends for a brutal showing in the NL Wild Card game loss to San Francisco. Familia entered in the top of the ninth and proceeded to give up three runs in the eventual 3-0 defeat.