The Phillies can’t count on Jeurys Familia
Jeurys Familia is becoming too big of a problem for the Philadelphia Phillies to ignore.
In Tuesday night’s series opener against the Texas Rangers, the 32-year-old put the game out of reach when he came in to relieve starting pitcher Kyle Gibson, and let the Rangers blow the game wide open, instead. Over 1 1/3 innings, Familia allowed four earned runs – including home runs to Marcus Semien and Kole Calhoun on four hits, walked a batter, and only struck out one.
While interim manager Rob Thomson said they still trust Familia, it’s hard to see that continuing if he can’t turn it around:
"“I think it’ll come back. But we’ve got to keep running him out there. Maybe give him some spots like tonight, down a little bit. And just let him work through it.”"
After this latest implosion, Familia’s ERA sits at 5.55 over 27 appearances. He’s allowed 15 earned runs (including six homers) in just 24 1/3 innings this season. Most concerning is that his strikeout rate is significantly lower than last year – from 27.5% to 21.4% – while opposing batters are putting up their best numbers against him in years, slashing .317/.384/.535 with a .919 OPS.
Familia was one of several relievers the Phillies signed when the MLB lockout ended, giving him $6M for one year in their attempt to give the bullpen an extreme makeover. Unfortunately, aside from the excellent Brad Hand, the results have been underwhelming.
Of course, a significant portion of the blame for Tuesday night’s loss belongs to the inconsistent lineup, which went 0-for-9 with runners on. That being said, it’s incredibly deflating for a lineup to have a 7-0 deficit stacked against them. If Familia can’t hold down the fort, he shouldn’t be on the mound. Maybe he shouldn’t even be on the roster.