The Diamondbacks are set to release veteran reliever Jeurys Familia, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link). Familia is one of a few dozen veterans with an opt-out in his contract tomorrow but had been informed by the club that he would not make the Opening Day roster. They’ll cut him loose a day early and give him some extra time to latch on with a new organization.
Familia, 33, had a strong spring showing with Arizona, pitching six innings of one-run ball with just three hits and one walk against four strikeouts. Those sharp results apparently weren’t enough to sway the Snakes into putting him on the Opening Day roster, so he’ll instead return to the free-agent market in search of an opportunity with another club in need of some bullpen help.
Solid as Familia was this spring, he’s coming off the worst season of his career. In 44 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Red Sox, Familia was tagged for an ugly 6.09 ERA. His 20.1% strikeout rate was the second-lowest mark he’s posted in a full season, as was his 10.7% swinging-strike rate. Familia’s 10.8% walk rate was well north of the league average, and his 95.6 mph average fastball velocity was a personal-low for the former Mets closer.
Familia did have a nice season as recently as 2021 (3.94 ERA, 27.5% strikeout rate, 10.2% walk rate in 59 1/3 innings), and his broader track record at the MLB level is impressive overall. The 2016 All-Star boasts a 3.51 ERA, 125 saves, 70 holds and a 24.4% strikeout rate in 543 big league frames.
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