Pedro Martinez backs Mets closer Jeurys Familia's All-Star campaign
New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia faces some tough competition for the final All-Star spot on the National League team, but if it were up to former Mets pitcher Pedro Martinez, he'd take Familia in a heartbeat.
"When you look at the numbers, you don't really stop to think about the importance that Familia has had for the Mets," Martinez said during a conference call, per NJ.com. "The Mets had Bobby Parnell go down, then [Jenrry] Mejia came up and went down suspended and let's just put it this way: If Familia wasn't there, where would the Mets be?"
Stepping into the extended closer role for the first time in his career, Familia has saved 23 games in 25 opportunities while maintaining a 1.13 ERA with a 0.88 WHIP and 41 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings pitched this season.
Familia will have to surpass some tough company in order to make this year's All-Star team. After all, he's pitted against Johnny Cueto, Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Martinez, and Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw.
Martinez says Familia is set apart from that elite pack by the relative impact he's had on his team.
"Where would the Mets be without Familia?" Martinez pondered. "The kid has done an outstanding job and because of the importance of what he means to the team and how steady he has been, I think he deserves a chance."