PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. - Jason Isringhausen hasn't pitched in the majors since 2009, when he made nine appearances with the Tampa Bay Rays. But his appearance Tuesday at the Mets' complex was still enough to turn heads.
A charter member of the Mets' fabled Generation K, along with Paul Wilson and Bill Pulsipher, Isringhausen had contacted assistant general manager J.P. Ricciardi, an old friend from their days in Oakland, to ask for a tryout. So when Isringhausen climbed a bullpen mound Monday near one of the back fields, David Wright grabbed manager Terry Collins. "Is that Isringhausen?" Wright asked.
After Collins confirmed it, a few Mets watched Isringhausen throw to bullpen catcher Dave Racaniello, with Ricciardi studying him as well. Even with the Mets' bullpen currently in disarray, Isringhausen - coming off his third Tommy John surgery - is a long shot. But that bullpen performance proved to be enough to earn him a minor-league contract and an invite to major-league camp, where he will join the team Wednesday.
Isringhausen, 38, threw for the Reds in Arizona earlier this year, but figured a reunion with the Mets might be the best opportunity. "There could be," Isringhausen said. "Hopefully I can bring an elder person, so to speak, and help out some guys if they need it, if it works out. If not, we'll move on and deal with that. But it's hard to pass it up where it all started and come full circle."