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Mets taking their time bringing back closer Jeurys Familia

Jeurys Familia of the New York Mets looks

Jeurys Familia of the New York Mets looks on during a game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field on Thursday, June 1, 2017. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

Jeurys Familia’s rehab is coming along, but with the Mets out of the playoff race, they are in no rush to bring back their closer and potentially cause another injury.

Terry Collins said Friday that although he was impressed with Familia’s sinker in his rehab appearance Wednesday with the St. Lucie Mets, they “want to get his pitch count to where he certainly can be comfortable throwing 30 pitches in an inning.”

Familia, who had surgery to remove a blood clot in his right shoulder, should be able to go at least two innings before the Mets consider bringing him back, Collins said. Even then, they wouldn’t necessarily start him off in his old role.

“If we can get his velocity back to where it was before he got hurt, then we know we’re OK,” Collins said. “We’re not worried about pressure situations. This guy has pitched in the biggest ones there is. I just think it’s a matter of making sure he’s 100 percent healthy . . . As long as he leaves this year knowing that he’s healthy, that’s going to be the biggest step.”

Cecchini a work in progress

After a successful year at the plate with Triple-A Las Vegas last year, Gavin Cecchini has struggled this season, but the Mets hope that with his call-up, they’ll be able to eradicate some of the bad hitting habits he’s picked up. “This year, he’s made a couple of changes that they’re trying to fix,” Collins said of Cecchini, who had a .325/.390/.448 slash line with Las Vegas last season but was at .267/.329/.380 before his call-up earlier this week.

“One of the things about him is that everyone thought he could hit and he always has hit,” Collins said. “This has been as rough a year as he’s had offensively in the minor leagues . . . They’re working on it. This guy has bat potential. I still think he has a chance to be an everyday player.”

Wilmer OK

After missing two games with a sore left rib cage, Wilmer Flores returned to the lineup at first base Friday night with no lingering concerns about his health. “He hit earlier in the cage, looked good, felt good,” Collins said.


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