Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays sign Jason Isringhausen

Popular player First baseman Carlos Peña signs autographs for fans after Friday’s workout in Port Charlotte. Starting at about 10:50 a.m. today, Peña and his teammates will take live batting practice for the first time this spring.

BRIAN CASSELLA | Times

Popular player First baseman Carlos Peña signs autographs for fans after Friday’s workout in Port Charlotte. Starting at about 10:50 a.m. today, Peña and his teammates will take live batting practice for the first time this spring.

PORT CHARLOTTE — The Rays are bringing former All-Star closer Jason Isringhausen to camp, agreeing Friday to a minor-league deal.

The right-hander, 36, struggled for much of his seventh and last season in St. Louis, was shut down in August with elbow tendinitis and had surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon on Sept. 12. He finished 1-5 with 12 saves out of 19 chances and a 5.70 ERA.

The 13-year veteran has recovered enough to throw bullpen sessions. And though he will be monitored early, he is expected to pitch in games next month. If healthy and effective, he could give the Rays additional bullpen depth as Chad Bradford and Troy Percival recover from surgery.

Isringhausen, who lives in the bay area, will join the Rays in camp this morning. He has 293 saves and a 3.61 ERA in 13 seasons with the Mets, A's and Cardinals.

More recognition: OF Fernando Perez said last spring training, "nobody would have asked me to loan my face for any sort of cause."

Then a minor-league invitee to camp, Perez said he was often mistaken for OF B.J. Upton, even by Rays fans. But he found out in the winter what helping in a World Series run could do for his profile.

Perez, 25, was asked to help headline several charity events, from his cousin's City of Angels Little League camp in Los Angeles to a sports variety show in New York.

And in January, the New Jersey native was asked by Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons to join Red Sox 2B Dustin Pedroia, manager Terry Francona and GM Theo Epstein for their "Hot Stove, Cool Music" program benefiting inner-city programs in Boston and New York.

Perez said that Red Sox fans were cordial but asked him about the Rays losing Game 5 of the ALCS after being up 7-0: "I couldn't believe they really even wanted me to go (there)."

Perez, who was called up on Aug. 31, appeared in five postseason games and scored the winning run in the 11th inning of Game 2 of the ALCS against Boston. That makes this spring very different for Perez, who went from getting a taste of the big leagues to feeling "in the mix."

"I'm at a point, a sink-or-swim point," he said. "You have to do your part on the field, and your offseason can be filled with lots of fun."

But does he still get mistaken for Upton? "All the time," he said.

Some things never change.

NEW STUFF: RHP Wade Davis is one of several pitchers scheduled to throw live batting practice today (with more live batting practice Sunday). Fans might notice a few changes in his repertoire. Davis said he added a slider during a stint at Triple A last season and has made significant strides on his changeup.

Davis, 23, the pitcher of the year for Double-A Montgomery last season, said he's a lot more relaxed and confident for this camp.

"I'm definitely a little different in a lot of ways," he said. "Last year, fastball-curveball was my only thing. Now I've got a little more to work with."

BACK ON the HILL: LHP Jake McGee, one of the Rays' top pitching prospects, plans to throw off the mound Monday for the first time since Tommy John surgery in July. Though he'll throw just 20 pitches, all fastballs, it will be a big step.

McGee, 22, made 15 starts for Montgomery last season before tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow.

"I was kind of crushed because I knew I would have had a chance to be in Triple A and maybe up (in the majors) in September," he said. "Now I never know what would have happened."

McGee said his early goal is to be back in July and eventually join Class A Charlotte.

MISCELLANY: Noted sports psychologist Ken Ravizza planned to address the Rays before today's workout. … RHP Matt Garza is scheduled to sign autographs at the Port Charlotte Wal-Mart, 19100 Murdock Circle, from 2 to 3 p.m. Sunday. … The Rays host an open house at 10 a.m. Monday at the Charlotte Sports Park.

Tampa Bay Rays sign Jason Isringhausen 02/20/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 6, 2010 1:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays journal: Archer has strong outing, with two mistakes

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Two pitches RHP Chris Archer didn't execute are the ones that stood out Thursday as Josh Donaldson hit them out of the park. But the two solo home runs aside, Archer turned in a sterling outing that went atop the pile of good pitching the Rays keep wasting.

    Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) works during the first inning. [Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP]
  2. Tim Tebow continues wowing fans as he wraps up bay area games

    Minors

    CLEARWATER — Tracey Fritzinger has seen Tim Tebow play baseball a few times this year. The 40-year-old St. Petersburg resident went to two of his games against the Tampa Yankees, along with Joy, her little sister from Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

    St. Lucie Mets outfielder Tim Tebow, middle, hangs out in the dugout during the first inning of Thursday night’s game against the Clearwater Threshers at Spectrum Field.
  3. Rays vs. Mariners, 7:10 Friday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Mariners

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun, 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Austin Pruitt (50) in the dugout during the ninth inning of the game between the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays on Opening Day at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, April 2, 2017. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees 7-3.
  4. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays (w/video)

    The Heater

    TORONTO — The signs of frustration were readily apparent as the Rays trudged toward home Thursday after another game littered with squandered opportunities evolved into another wasted day in the wild-card race with a 5-3 loss to the Blue Jays.

    Rays reliever Tommy Hunter reacts as Justin Smoak circles the bases after hitting a go-ahead two-run home run in the eighth.
  5. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand

    Bucs

    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]