Been Down This Road Before

On Sunday, Mark Sheldon posted a piece on that stated the Reds were going to Goodyear, Arizona yesterday to take a look at Jason Isringhausen.

Wait a tic. Huh?

Wasn’t this road paved last year? It sure was and with poor results.

Reds GM Walt Jocketty provided Sheldon with some insight on this.

“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.”

First things, first. Isringhausen contacted Jocketty, not the other way around. Second, Izzy wants to either be a Red or he may have in the back of his  mind that he can count on Jocketty if necessary. He knows Jocketty is a loyal individual (and he is).

Let’s not get too carried away on this, but remember that Isringhausen was shut down in mid August after suffering an elbow strain. He was in Louisville working into shape then. Considering he was coming off Tommy John surgery, it was the best thing to do.

But I’m as perplexed as Bill Lack over on Redleg Nation about even a hint of this suggestion.

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?

Lack also says Jocketty is showing his “St. Louis bias”.

While it is nice to have a veteran presence and an extra arm, especially one that served you so well, why revisit this? Or maybe Reds GM Walt Jocketty sent Reds pitching coach Bryan Price yesterday just to kick the tires. You know, more a gesture that anything.

But Jocketty did have a positive look on the session. From John Fay’s blog:

“He looked good,” Walt Jocketty said, “like he did last year.”

Ah…last year. Yes, he may have looked good last year and look what occurred. Not saying the same would happen this season, but you seriously have to wonder if Isringhausen will ever be “right”.

With the return of Jose Arredondo from a similar procedure, the addition of Dontrelle Willis on a minor league deal and the young arms of Logan Ondrusek and Jordan Smith, where’s the real need? Is there someone that Walt feels needs just a tad more time to mature and season and that by adding Isringhausen to mix will allow such time? Not sure about that one either.

Just got a bad feeling in my gut here…and it’s not that coney I just ate either.

Update: After Isringhausen threw 30-35 pitches, Price stated the following:

“He threw the ball fine, well enough to feel optimistic that with a Spring Training to build his arm strength, he could get back to being productive again,” Price said. “That is if he can stay healthy, which is a top concern for anybody coming off an arm injury.”

Jocketty’s quote (via Mark Sheldon) is more telling:

“We’re not sure if we will pursue it or not,” said Reds general manager Walt Jocketty. “We’ll discuss it in the next few days. We have quite a bit of right-handed pitching.”

Read into that what you will.