Familia will pitch an inning in tonight's return

Familia will pitch an inning in tonight's return

NEW YORK -- Terry Collins is ready to change closers. There's nothing wrong with Addison Reed, who filled in well for the first 15 games of the season while Jeurys Familia was suspended for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy. But with Familia's suspension ending in time for Thursday's game against the Phillies at Citi Field, Collins is ready to welcome him back.

"Getting back one of the best closers in baseball is certainly going to help out immensely," Collins said Wednesday.

Familia, who led the Major Leagues with 51 saves in 2016, will move back into the closer role, with Reed returning to his regular job as the Mets setup man. Fernando Salas and Jerry Blevins, who have been setting up Reed, will return to their regular roles as well.

Familia prepared for his return with two Minor League appearances, pitching a scoreless inning for Class A St. Lucie last Saturday and another scoreless inning for Double-A Binghamton on Monday. Even so, he hasn't faced Major League hitters since the end of Spring Training.

"We may need to just get his feet wet the first time out," Collins said. "Do we let him pitch the eighth inning first, or do you just throw him right in the fire?"

Either way, Collins would like to make sure Familia gets an inning Thursday against the Phillies, heading into the Mets' series this weekend against the Nationals.

Regardless, Collins will be happy to have him back.

Danny Knobler is a contributor to MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.