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Tuesday March 9, 2010 8:57 am

Isringhausen’s quest for 300

Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB,

Jason IsringhausenJason Isringhausen has 293 career saves. He got his first one in 1999 and has been collecting them like stamps ever since. Isringhausen is now a free agent, and is looking for a club to call home. He’s looking for a team whose bullpen needs some help finishing out games as he continues towards a career milestone 300. These two things are not mutually exclusive, and despite some recent arm injuries, Isringhausen may be exactly what some teams are looking for in 2010.

He began his career as a starting pitcher within the Mets organization. He was drafted in the 44thd round of the 1991 amateur draft. He started in 52 games in New York, but a trade to Oakland in 1999 saw him shifted to the bullpen. By 2000, he became the A’s closer and between them and St. Louis; he finished with at least 30 saves in all but one year. 2008 was an injury-shortened season where he only made 12 saves in 42 appearances, and 2009 with the Rays was a bust due to undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Isringhausen is back and ready to go, and he is just seven saves shy of 300 for his career, an impressive number. He just needs a team to play for. He is currently 22nd on the all-time saves list, and it is very likely he’ll pass a few of baseball’s greats this year. At 37-years old with a good team, it’s not a stretch to expect 20-25 saves from the veteran. 20 would move him into 17th place, one being Robb Nen, Rick Aguilera at 318, Todd Jones at 319, and Jose Mesa at 321.

There are no active pitchers close to Isringhausen on the all-time list; ahead or behind. If he can put together two good seasons before calling it a career, he can easily find himself in the top 10, but probably not much higher than that before he’s done. What he needs most right now is somebody to take a chance on him. The rumor out there is that pitchers come back stronger after Tommy John Surgery, but how many teams are willing to test that theory on a 37-year old arm? Isringhausen hopes at least one.



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