WASHINGTON — Jeurys Familia’s reinvention of himself in the offseason is producing solid early dividends.
The Mets reliever has emerged as an early trusted option for manager Luis Rojas, who seeks high-leverage opportunities for the veteran right-hander.
“We spoke [Tuesday] morning and his confidence is really high, he’s sure of himself,” Rojas said before the Mets beat the Nationals 3-1 on Wednesday. “He knows the work that he put in to be performing like this right now and also with what he added to his repertoire.”
In addition to shedding 30 pounds over the winter, Familia is employing a curveball after previously relying on his power sinker and slider.
Familia entered Wednesday with a 3.18 ERA in six appearances, which included escaping a bases-loaded jam created by Paul Sewald in the fifth inning Tuesday.
Last season Familia was among the team’s biggest disappointments, pitch to a 5.70 ERA in 66 appearances.
“He wants the ball,” Rojas said. “He wants to get in there as much as he can. He wants to compete. It doesn’t matter what inning, the fifth he was in there. He wants to go in there and help the team get a win. He’s put himself in that position by work ethic and what he keeps on doing.”
Robinson Cano expressed confidence his stint on the injured list will last the minimum 10 days, leaving him in position to rejoin the Mets lineup on Aug. 14. The veteran second baseman is sidelined with a grade two strain of the left abductor that he says he sustained running the bases Monday night in Atlanta.
“I want to be able to go out there to help the team win games, but at the same time thank God it was nothing major, that I was smart to get out of the game,” Cano said.
Jeff McNeil (intercostal strain) and Amed Rosario (quadriceps) were absent from the starting lineup for the second straight night. Both are day to day, according to Rojas.
Marcus Stroman is scheduled to throw his second simulated game on Thursday, with an emphasis on his mobility off the mound as he recovers from a torn left calf. The right-hander has maintained his throwing routine to keep his arm built up during his IL stint.
The Mets acquired right-handed pitcher Ariel Jurado from the Rangers for a player to be named later and cash considerations. Jurado, who was designated for assignment last week, went 7-11 with a 5.81 ERA in 32 appearances for Texas last season, split between the rotation and bullpen. Ryan Cordell was designated for assignment to clear space on the 40-man roster for Jurado.
Entering play the Mets were second in the major leagues with 110 hits this season. But they led MLB in runners left on base with 107 — which included 49 in the first six games of the road trip.