It's something of a travesty that Mets closer Jeurys Familia won't be going to the All Star game.
Familia wasn't expected to be the Mets closer this year. He was very good in a set-up man role last year, pitching 77.1 innings with an ERA of 2.21. This year, he was thrown into the role following the suspension of Jenrry Mejia, and he's been outstanding.
In 40.1 innings, he's pitched to a 1.12 ERA, and he's 24 for 26 in save opportunities. He has 41 strikeouts to just 12 walks, and he's allowed only 5 earned runs all season.
Now that's reliability, and that's production.
In terms of value, the fact that the Mets have a guy like Familia is completely invaluable. This is a team with an excellent starting staff and a poor lineup; so, if they had a closer that was incapable of holding down a late lead and rewarding a great start, this team wouldn't be anywhere near where it is now. Familia's WAR is 1.9, but that feels awfully low; anything other than a very good closer would really cripple the Mets.
It's hard to argue that Familia has been better than Trever Rosenthal or Mark Melancon. But two other relievers who are on the team that I think Familia has performed better than are Jonathan Papelbon and Francisco Rodriguez.
Papelbon and K-Rod have both been great this year, but they're playing for the two worst teams in the league, the Phillies and the Brewers. To me, it doesn't make sense to reward a closer for a terrible team.
A huge part of being a good closer is the ability to perform under pressure. When your team is 15 games out of the Wild Card by mid-June, there isn't much pressure.
Familia does have tons of pressure, because he knows the value that each save opportunity holds for the Mets. Any time this team scores enough runs to win a game, they absolutely MUST maintain that lead. And Familia has been beyond great in that role.
Familia has gotten some credit by the ballot committee, as he's included in the NL Fan Vote. He's one of five players being considered by fan votes for the final roster spot, but he's last in voting, behind Johnny Cueto, Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Martinez and Clayton Kershaw. All of these guys are great players, but Familia should be in the roster.
The good news here is that it doesn't actually matter. Like, at all.
While Familia would probably enjoy being a part of the All Star hype, he probably won't mind the few days off, either. We can rest easy knowing that Familia has been OUR All Star, and so long as he keeps up his first-half production, his exclusion from the team doesn't mean much.