Mets still awaiting word on Familia

Closer gave up one run on 3 hits, hit 95 mph in spring debut

Mets still awaiting word on Familia

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- With exactly five weeks to go until Opening Day, the Mets still do not know if Major League Baseball will suspend Jeurys Familia as part of the league's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. Nor do the Mets expect to know until after Familia returns from the World Baseball Classic next month.

But that's not stopping the team from prepping Familia as if he needs to be ready to go. The closer made his Grapefruit League debut in Monday's 5-2 loss to the Astros, allowing a run on three hits in one inning.

More importantly, Familia -- typically a slow starter in Spring Training -- hit 95 mph on the radar gun.

"I thought that was a pretty good first day," manager Terry Collins said. "I thought he threw the ball well."

Though the operating assumption around Mets camp is that Familia will miss roughly the first month of the season, due to a potential suspension stemming from his Oct. 31 arrest, the Mets have no choice but to prepare Familia in earnest. He will serve as the Dominican Republic's closer in next month's WBC '17. 

Time to debut: Noah Syndergaard could make his Grapefruit League debut as early as Thursday, Collins said, beginning a rollout of the club's big league rotation. That includes Zack Wheeler, who is tentatively scheduled to appear in a game following the team's March 7 off-day.

Seth Lugo and Marcos Molina will start Tuesday and Wednesday against the Marlins and Cardinals, respectively.

Irish eyes are smiling: P.J. Conlon, the Mets' Minor League Pitcher of the Year last season, fired two shutout innings Monday in his first Grapefruit League game. That included matchups against star hitters George Springer, Jose Altuve and Brian McCann.

"It was a pretty surreal experience," Conlon said. "It's something I've been thinking about for a long time. Growing up, you always picture yourself going against players like Altuve. … I've always wanted to prove not only to myself, but to people growing up, that it's something I can do. I feel like I can get big league hitters out."

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Conlon immigrated to the United States when he was 2 years old. He advanced as high as Class A St. Lucie last year, posting a 1.65 ERA over two levels, and should open this season at Double-A Binghamton.

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.