ATLANTA - The progression is typical.
Pitchers who can't cut it as starters wind up as relievers. The better ones grow into roles in the back of the bullpen as setup men or closers.
This is the future that the Mets envision for righthander Jeurys Familia.
"If he came up with one more pitch he could throw over the plate, he could be a late-inning guy," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Whether it's the closer or the eighth-inning guy, he's got all the makings of it."
Familia offered a glimpse of that potential Friday night when he picked up his first major-league save in the Mets' 7-5 victory over the Braves.
The Mets used closer Bobby Parnell to end a rally in the ninth, leaving Familia to close the game after his team took the lead in the 10th.
"They gave me the opportunity and I did my work," Familia said.
The Mets still considered Familia a starter when he was called up late last season. But since then, they have focused on converting the righthander into a reliever, hoping that he can enjoy success with his sinker and mid-90s fastball.