Miami enters its final series of the season Monday having lost nine of its past 10 games to fall to 68-91 on the year. The Marlins are already guaranteed last place in the National League East and their worst record since 1999, when they finished 64-98.
It what is likely a precaution, starter Josh Johnson was scratched from Monday's scheduled start in place of Wade LeBlanc. The decision to shelve Johnson is likely the result of Johnson's 191 1/3 innings pitched this season after missing much of last year with shoulder problems. Johnson will finish with an 8-14 record and a solid 3.81 ERA.
LeBlanc will make his ninth start of the season and 25th appearance overall. The left-hander has been solid out of the bullpen, posting a 2.53 ERA in those 16 appearances, but has struggled as a starter. He enters Monday night just 1-4 with a 4.68 ERA in his eight starts this season.
For the Mets, Jeurys Familia (0-0, 8.64), a September callup auditioning for a spot in next year's rotation, will make his first Major League start. The 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic has made seven appearances out of the bullpen this season, most recently on Wednesday, when he threw two scoreless innings in a New York win over Pittsburgh.
Familia is one of several pitchers the Mets have been keeping close tabs on this month in preparation for next year.
"I want to see how he approaches hitters," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I want to see length. Instead of just 20 pitches or 25 pitches, I want to see how he handles going out there for two or three innings."
Mets: Hairston seeks expanded role in 2013
After playing almost every day down the stretch and putting together his most productive season, Scott Hairston hopes to play a larger role with whichever team he signs with over the winter.
Hairston, who will be a free agent after the season, has hit a career-high 19 home runs and driven in 54 runs this year.
"Wherever I wind up next year, I just want to have an expanded role," he said before Sunday's 6-1 loss to the Braves. "I've been able to get around 360 at-bats this year, and I would hope to get at least that many next year, whether it's here or somewhere else."
Marlins: Stanton's power numbers impressing
If Giancarlo Stanton starts each of the Marlins' final three games against the Mets, his games played total will reach only 123 after he missed time with injuries.
Despite that, the 22-year-old right fielder has mashed a career-high 36 home runs, which is second in the National League. He trails only the Brewers' Ryan Braun, who's hit 41 homers in 151 games.
"Every time this kid is at the plate, he's in scoring position," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Like I say, I don't want long ones, I want a lot of ones. I got both -- a lot and long ones. I'm happy for him."
Rookie second baseman Donovan Solano is riding a 10-game hitting streak entering Monday's game.
Johnson's 191 1/3 innings were the second-most in his career, behind only the 209 innings he tossed in 2009.
The Mets have won seven straight against the Marlins and lead the season series, 11-4. This marks the first time since 2008 they have won the head-to-head season matchup with the Marlins.