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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Last Bullpen Spot Down to Izzy and Boyer ?

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - FEBRUARY 24:  RY 24:  RY ...Image by Getty Images via @daylife
It looks like the last bullpen spot is down to Blaine Boyer and Jason Isringhausen.

Izzy was quoted about the competition, "Me and [Blaine] Boyer hate each other, just to let you guys know," he said, laughing.

Isringhausen is a 38-year-old Tommy John survivor who felt a pop in his elbow earlier this month -- and who freely admits he could feel another at any time.

Boyer is a less flashy choice, but a less injury-prone one as well.

"They've both had very, very good springs," manager Terry Collins said. "They're both throwing the ball well. We'll just have to sit down and look at all the options we have, and make a decision."

Manny Acosta remains on the fringe of that competition, Isringhausen and Boyer are the two primary candidates for what appears to be just one open spot.

Both right-handers fired scoreless innings against the Cardinals on Sunday -- Boyer using a double-play to retire three batters on four pitches, Isringhausen inducing a weak grounder, a popup and a lazy fly ball. Boyer now has posted a 0.90 ERA in 10 Grapefruit League innings, striking out seven and walking three. Isringhausen has a 1.29 mark in seven innings, with three strikeouts and three walks.

"They're all pitching well," general manager Sandy Alderson said. "We're going to have to make some tough choices."

By midweek, one of them will be on the Mets and the other will not.

Boyer has an out in his contract, allowing him to sign elsewhere if he does not make the team -- and given his spring performance, he wouldn't have much trouble finding a new employer.

Isringhausen, meanwhile, has firmly stated that he will not accept a Minor League assignment.

Both were asked why they should be on the team:

"I've shown everybody that I'm able to work the two-seamer," Boyer said. "I'm getting lefties out. My slider is fantastic, at least as far as I'm concerned. I like what I'm doing."

"If my arm's healthy, I'm going to get people out," Isringhausen said. "I know that."

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