A little over a year ago, Jason Isringhausen figured his pitching days were over. He admits he let himself go.
"I wasn’t planning on playing. I was sitting at home playing softball," Isringhausen said.
After signing a minor league deal, he made the New York Mets' roster and pitched in 53 games, but late in the season his lack of conditioning caught up with him. Isringhausen, 39, said he weighed about 250 pounds, contributing to a herniated disc that wiped out the end of his season.
He's with the Angels now, on another minor-league deal, and he says he's lost 25 pounds, down to about 225, his playing weight in his younger days. The Angels are hoping they found a bargain solution to their lack of bullpen depth when they signed Isringhausen on Wednesday night. If all goes well, he could set up closer Jordan Walden, along with fellow veterans LaTroy Hawkins and Scott Downs.
He missed the 2010 season recovering from Tommy John surgery. He said his arm feels great. It's the rest of his body he's not so sure about.
"It’s always health with me," Isringhausen said. "If I’m healthy, then I get people out."