Root For Jason Isringhausen

By MJ Lloyd

I don’t usually assign homework in post titles but here we are. Jason Isringhausen has his last “make it or break it” day on Thursday. The 39-year-old reliever says he’s down to two options, “Just pitch well or go home.”

Izzy signed a Minor League deal to join the Angels but it will cost them another $100,000 to keep the former closer on their roster after Thursday. And he doesn’t appear to have any interest in pitching in the minors

"“I’ll just go home and be with my girls,” he said.“I just have to go out there today and pitch the way I’m capable of pitching. And if I don’t today and tomorrow, I’ll go home. I understand the concept. That’s just how it is.”"

Who can blame him? After being a 44th round pick by the Mets in 1991, Isringhausen has made north of $55 million over his 15 years in the Majors. So riding around in a bus while closing in on 40-years-old probably isn’t too appealing. Triple-A clubhouses don’t even carry Ensure.

Wednesday’s outing might give Izzy a shot at sticking though. He pitched a clean 7th inning with a strikeout. It caught the manager’s attention

"Veteran reliever Jason Isringhausen, who struggled with some mechanical problems in his previous appearance, retired the side in order with a strikeout in the seventh.“He was in his delivery better, he had better arm speed,” Manager Mike Scioscia said of Isringhausen. He spun the ball well. He had good stuff.”"

With Bobby Cassevah and Michael Kohn battling injuries, there are some spots in the bullpen to be won. I’m rooting for Izzy and so should you. I disregard the save statistic as much as the next nerd but Izzy has collected 300 of them over his career. He might be the mentor Jordan Walden needs to take the next step to becoming an elite reliever.