Banged-up Mets ready to welcome off-day
ATLANTA -- Jeurys Familia is not available for the Mets again in their Sunday finale against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field, and catcher Travis d'Arnaud is unavailable as well, barring an emergency.
"[Familia] fells better, he feels a lot better, but because we're off tomorrow, we're going to give him today and he'll be ready to go on Tuesday," said Mets manager Terry Collins. "d'Arnaud is pretty sore today, so if we need him, he'll be there, but right now we'll probably just give him the day just to recuperate a little bit, and he'll be ready on Tuesday."
Collins said Familia wouldn't throw or run until Tuesday in order to make the most of the two days off he'll have Sunday and Monday. d'Arnaud said his elbow is feeling stiff, but better than Saturday night, when he hyperextended his left elbow on a play at the plate.
"Nothing a little ice can't fix," he said.
Monday's off-day comes as a relief to Collins and the Mets, as the team has battled several injuries lately that have caused it to play with a four-man bench and without its best option out of the bullpen.
Of New York pitchers with at least six innings out of the bullpen, Familia has the lowest ERA (1.38) and has produced twice the WAR (0.4) of the next-best reliever (0.2).
A minor ankle injury to Ruben Tejada also led to the 25-year-old middle infielder starting the third game in Atlanta on the bench. Collins said it would be better to have him on the bench late in the game if needed, than to risk aggravating the injury further.
"The one thing you have to be careful of playing a guy like that," Collins said, "[is] if he hits the base wrong, or if something happens and you've got to take him out in the third inning or so, you're in big trouble."
Collins said before the game that the upcoming off-day was more of a relief than usual, with so many players not at 100 percent.
"This is a big one for us," he said. "We have to get Familia back -- this will help. And we've got to get Travis back -- and this will help that.
"After the way we finished the homestand, burning out the bullpen as bad as we had to use it, and a couple guys getting banged up a little bit, I think it's a good day to have off and kind of regroup and get ready for the next week."