I just don’t understand this…

From Mark Sheldon:

Veteran reliever Jason Isringhausen will attempt another career reboot with the Reds. Isringhausen is scheduled to throw on Monday at the Reds complex in Goodyear, Ariz., with the hopes of securing a Minor League deal and Spring Training invite.

“He’s contacted me and said he was healthy again and wanted to throw for us,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said on Sunday during a Reds Caravan stop. “He’ll throw for [pitching coach] Bryan Price on Monday in Goodyear and we’ll see how he throws and how healthy he is.”

The Reds are a team with a lot of pitching; the spring training battle for bullpen spots might be as intense as the battle for rotation spots, which means there will be guys that don’t make the big club that will be throwing out of the Louisville bullpen. Why even consider bringing a 38 year old oft-injured guy back into the organization?

Methinks that Mr. Jocketty’s well-documented St. Louis bias is showing…let’s not waste any time on this idea.

24 thoughts on “I just don’t understand this…

  1. To be honest, Mr. Jocketty may still have some concerns about Cordero. I think that everyone in a Reds’ fan thinks this is going to be a huge season but everyone is concerned about Cordero. If we are involved in a tight battle for the Central title, we need to make certain that we have someone in the bullpen that can close it out. You can never have enough insurance.

  2. If Jason Isringhausen is the answer, you’re asking the wrong question.

  3. as bad as cordero can be he is still a better option than another over the hill past his prime former cadnial!the reds have enough pitchers to do the job if coco can’t,don’t they have some guy from cuba who can throw it over a 100 mph?wouldn’t you rather have him come into a game than a guy whoose elbow might explode at any minute?enough walt just stop with anybody who played in st.louis can play for the reds!

  4. I don’t have a problem with giving him a spring training look, as long as he has to earn a spot and is not given anything. I like our bullpen alot as is, but it does get thin on experience as you go down the line. The way I see, we have two “up for grabs” spots in the bullpen to go to any two of Burton, Smith, Herera, LeCure, Maloney, Willis and Fischer. If Isringhausen can ligitimantly pitch his way into the top two of this group, then why not. And even if he doesn’t he could provide some depth and insurance at AAA to give him an extended opportunity to prove he can still pitch at the ML level. If he does, great. If he doesn’t, who cares, he’ll fade away again like he did last year.

  5. RCR, that’s my problem. I don’t want him taking up a roster spot at AAA that could be used for someone else. It pushes someone else down a level and I think that’s counterproductive.

  6. I think I’m a little gun-shy about St. Louis veterans as well, but I don’t want to jump to conclusions until spring training. There’s nothing the matter with working the guy out for the chance at a minor league deal and a shot at the big leagues.

    This is how I reasoned myself off of the ledge after the Renteria signing: Until given explicit reasons to beleive otherwise, beleive what WJ tells you. Renteria was signed to play multiple positions and to provide competition in Spring Training. If he wins the job outright, more power to him. Same with Isringhausen. If he proves better than the players brought in, I would rather have him pitching regardless of his history or age. With a minor league deal, there is relatively little money at stake. If he can’t hang, then the stones aren’t left unturned.

  7. Arredondo, Willis, Isringhausen. Having a small number of these guys and hoping one pans out to contribute something at the major league level in 2011 is much better than the days of signing 12 of these guys hoping to catch 3-4 to be the primary 7th/8th/9th inning relievers.

    The bullpen is a strength on this squad. That you can find guys like this more easily as bullpen depth than you can to help plug holes in the rotation is yet another reason why I think Chapman should be in a starting rotation somewhere either with the Reds or the Bats.

  8. @lookatthathat: My thoughts exactly.

    @Greg Dafler: I agree. I forgot about Arrendondo. I am interested to see what he does this year. My guess is that he starts out in Louisville or even extended S-T in AZ to see how is arm holds up. He might be a nice piece to the puzzle to add in the second half of the year.

  9. I’ve got no problem with Izzy getting a shot. I would have a problem if he’s put on the 25 man out of ST if he is not truly deserving.

  10. On a youth oriented team, I have a problem wasting time with a 38 year old guy with a history of arm issues. But it sure appears I’m the only one…

  11. 16 different pitchers made an appearance out of the Cincinnati bullpen last year. 12 of them were under 30 years old. Arguably the best reliever was 40-yr-old Arthur Rhodes.

    At this point, they haven’t signed him to anything yet. At this point, they don’t even know how hard he is throwing or anything.

  12. I can’t beleive we are arguing about a POTENTIAL minor league contract with an invitation to training camp, offered to a (best case) middle reliever.
    That being said:
    Teams are typically built towards winning. The Reds’ strength is in the young guys, sure, but they need players of all kinds and ages to play well in order to make a serious move at winning a championship. If Izzy turns out to be useless, I imagine he will be treated as such. There will have been minimal investment financially. The Reds have to be willing to break from the paradigm of youth building if they think it will help them win. A middle relief flier seems to be a pretty safe way to do so. It’s not like they offered Jay Bruce to the Nationals for Jason Werth or anything.

  13. I don’t see anyone arguing…I see a discussion, which is the point of this blog. And I don’t care if it’s a $2 contract, it’s a waste of resources.

  14. @Bill Lack: I disagree completely; there is nothing wrong with this signing; heck, it is not even a “signing.”

    Isringhausen was once a very good reliever. It is entirely likely that he will never pitch professionally again, and certainly not in the big leagues. But, from my limited time on this Earth, it seems to me that there is a wide degree of success from year to year for relief pitchers; sometimes quantity is valuable.

    I think this shows what we already know; WJ is a well respected GM. Izzy wants to throw for the Reds, not the other way around; what is WJ going to do, say no? Players like him and that is huge (remember Bowden). WJ is doing things the right, classy way, which is wonderful and serves him well.

  15. @Bill Lack: Agree to disagree. It’s what comes out in the wash. He could have an incredible season. We both know it’s unlikely, but it could happen. Why not give a middle reliever a chance to try out?

  16. We always need lots of extra arms in spring. Walt can give him one more shot to know for himself if he has anything left, and we might possibly catch some lightning in a bottle. No loss here. If he doesn’t make the bigs, I don’t see him as really blocking anyone at AAA as much as I see a possible outstanding influence on the guys that are there. Heck, if he doesn’t make the big club he may not even hang out long in the minors anyway. What the heck.

  17. @Cincinnati Dave:This will end in one of two ways. (1), the more likely one, is that he retires or the Reds don’t want him; (2) he makes the team, causes them to lose someone off the 40 man, and then he blows out his arm or is ineffective by late April.

    Either way, this should not be happening.

    Also, while it’s not the biggest issue facing the Reds, I’m not crazy about what it indicates about the team’s management.

    I hope people here remember that the 1999 Reds did not win the division because Steve Avery got lucky and was good for a short period early in the year, and then was allowed to suck for way too long, losing the Reds many games. That’s the kind of thing that can happen with Isringhausen.

  18. If Izzy pitches well enough to earn a spot on the ML or AAA roster, that should mean he’s pitching well enough to contribute. That’s a plus. And while he’s there, he might be able to impart some of his experiential knowledge to the younger pitchers. Another plus.

    If he pitches a couple of innings in spring training and reveals that he just ain’t got it, he might still be able to talk to the younger pitchers while he’s there and help one of them get better. And at the very least, his presence will show everyone in camp that Jocketty’s a man who doesn’t forget the players who got him to where he is. Two more pluses.

    It’s not like they’re hoping he takes the closer’s job away from Cordero.

  19. I don’t think this will become anything and the Reds have nothing ventured, so if they get anything out of Izzy going to spring training, it will be all bonus. Keep in mind Arthur Rhodes was almost out of baseball just a couple years back with a bad arm, so it is possible after a year out and a surgery to suddenly become a working pitcher again.

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