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Isringhausen thinks he'll pitch in majors

Mets relief pitcher Jason Isringhausen throws during a

Mets relief pitcher Jason Isringhausen throws during a spring training game. (Feb. 28, 2011) Credit: AP

JUPITER, Fla. -- When Jason Isringhausen arrived at the Mets' complex for an audition, he had only a glove and his rolling suitcase. Nearly six weeks later, Isringhausen is on the verge of a major-league job. He's just not sure if it will be with the Mets or not.

"It could be here or it could be somewhere else," he said Sunday after the Mets' 3-1 loss to the Cardinals. "I've proven to myself that I can do this again. If my arm is healthy, I'm going to get people out."

Isringhausen, 38, pitched a perfect inning in his first Grapefruit League game since he was shut down briefly with inflammation in his right elbow. The Mets are deciding between him and Blaine Boyer for the final bullpen spot.

"I won't go to the minor leagues," Isringhausen said. He also sounds reluctant to spend time at extended spring training, but hasn't ruled it out.

Boyer has an out in his contract March 31, but the Mets will make their pick by then. Boyer also pitched a perfect inning, lowering his ERA to 0.90.

"I think you do have to consider anybody's ability to stay healthy," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "But there are other issues as well."

Next step for Beltran?

Carlos Beltran returned to rightfield for five innings of a minor-league game and went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs. Alderson said they will meet Monday morning with Beltran to decide if he will play in exhibition games this week. If he does, that will set him up for the Opening Day roster.

Extra bases

Daniel Murphy also played rightfield in a Double-A game . . . Terry Collins told Willie Harris before the game that he has made the Opening Day roster . . . Collins also announced that Chris Capuano won't pitch until the eighth game, lining up R.A. Dickey for the April 8 home opener.

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