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Isringhausen Fighting To Stay With Mets; Decision Looms

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Jason Isringhausen (credit: Mike McCann/WFAN)

Jason Isringhausen (credit: Mike McCann/WFAN)

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NEW YORK (WFAN/AP) – The Mets have a tough decision on their hands.

Both Jason Isringhausen and Blaine Boyer are pitching well this spring, but New York likely has only one bullpen spot available for the competing hurlers.

“It’s a good problem for the Mets,” Isringhausen said after the Mets’ 3-1 loss to the Cardinals on Sunday. “I want the team to do well no matter what happens, so we’ll just see what happens in the next couple of days.”

“I don’t look at it like I’m in competition with Izzy or any of these guys,” said Boyer. “You go out there and you’re fighting with yourself. You’re trying to make yourself better, and it’s up to the team to decide who they want.”

While still officially part of the bullpen derby, Pedro Beato appears to have locked up a roster spot. “It’s pretty hard to argue with how he’s done,” admitted Mets manager Terry Collins.

Isringhausen has had three Tommy John elbow surgeries throughout his 14-year career. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since elbow surgery in June 2009 and was sidelined for a short time this spring with inflammation in his right elbow.

“I had that one hiccup because of my elbow,” Isringhausen said. “Other than that, I’ve pitched when they have wanted me to pitch and I’ve gotten people out.”

Injuries aside, Collins likes the veteran air Izzy brings to the table.

“What he can bring to the bullpen is some leadership, some inner strength,” said the Mets manager. “You listen to K-Rod talk about the impact that Troy Percival had on him, and we’ve got a guy who has a chance to make a similar impact.”

The Mets are expected to make their decision early this week, though according to GM Sandy Alderson, it could come down to the wire.

“They are all pitching well, but I have to make some tough choices,” Alderson said. “It could go to the last day. … We don’t want it to. That’s not fair to the guys that are competing. On the other hand, it’s that close.”

“Somebody’s going to be disappointed, for sure,” Collins said. “But that’s the nature of the game.”

Does Isringhausen deserve a shot at “Generation K” redemption? Let us know in the comments below…

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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