Although many have their doubts, the Mets’ front office stated this week that journeyman reliever Jason Isringhausen will be part of the team until at least the remainder of the 2011 season.
This was mostly done so Isringhausen could be Bobby Parnell’s mentor as Parnell tries to grasp what it takes to be a big-league closer.
While it’s a noble gesture, I think the Mets are making the wrong decision in keeping Isringhausen around. (This is under the assumption they will be sellers at the trade deadline).
Nevertheless, if the Mets keep Isringhausen, there are benefits to keeping him around, with of course him being Parnell’s mentor being the biggest factor. However, is that alone worth it?
So far in two save opportunities since the Mets traded Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod), Isringhausen has done an excellent job of shutting the door. And in both instances, Parnell was efficient in the primary set-up role.
If the Mets were somehow going to be in the wildcard race, than keeping Isringhausen would make all the sense in the world. The dumping of K-Rod was made for financial reasons. But, if the Mets go ahead and trade Beltran (and perhaps others), than that signifies that the Mets have an eye on the future.
And when it comes to the long term future of the club, where exactly does Isringhausen fit in? If Isringhausen is not going to be with the team next year, than what good is to have him on the roster for the rest of this season.
This guise of stating to keep Isringhausen in order for him to tutor Parnell is likely a ruse for Sandy Alderson and the Mets to foster a better prospect deal with potential buyers. With that statement, Alderson is just positioning himself for more leverage.
Once Beltran is dealt, that’s it. The Mets will have officially thrown in the towel. And once they do that, they should also be willing to trade Isringhausen. Thus, the franchise can expedite the rebuilding process and see what Parnell truly has, and if he has that closer mentality.
While all Mets fans truly and deeply appreciate the experience and dependability that Isringhausen has given the team this year, most know that he is on borrowed time.
The best scenario is for Isringhausen to get his 300th save with the Mets (he is five away now) and then they can send him out on top. It would be the perfect sendoff. This way Isringhausen can have shared some of his sage advice with Parnell (BTW, it’s not like K-Rod wasn’t helpful in this matter either), gotten his 300th save and then contribute to a contender.
Heading into the 2012 season the Mets will have to know if their closer will be Parnell, or if it will be Pedro Beato, so keeping Isringhausen any longer for the time he needs to get his 300th save would seem to be silly.
The best thing to come out of all this is the fact that the Mets really don’t look like they are missing K-Rod all that much. That could change at a moment’s notice, but for now it’s looking like a shrewd move.
The move now is to get Parnell in line to get some saves. This apprenticeship rigamarole is overrated.