HOUSTON -- Jason Isringhausen, St. Louis' erstwhile closer extraordinaire, will make his first Minor League rehab appearance on Monday for the Class A Palm Beach Cardinals. "Let him pitch Monday, then see how he feels," manager Tony La Russa said. "You let him take his first outing, and you reevaluate as it goes on." Isringhausen, 35, has been the Cardinals closer since joining the club in 2002, coming over from Oakland. He recorded 205 saves in his first six seasons in St. Louis, with a high of 47 in 2004 when he helped the Cardinals reach the World Series.
He finished last season 4-0 with a 2.48 ERA and 32 saves. But this season, he is 1-5 with an 8.00 ERA in 21 appearances with 11 saves. He has blown six save opportunities. He last pitched on May 15, when he gave up two hits, walked two and allowed three earned runs in one-third of an inning in an 11-5 loss at home to Pittsburgh. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list the next day with a laceration in his right hand. He reportedly injured the hand a week earlier. "I check on him," La Russa said. "It hasn't been a health problem. He's been working on his delivery. That's a good sign, that he's starting his rehab." Ryan Franklin has helped fill the closer role this season while Isringhausen has struggled, with seven saves in 10 opportunities. La Russa made it clear he is looking forward to getting Izzy back. "His spot on the club is here waiting for him," La Russa said. "When he's ready, he gets it. He's a dynamite closer."
Gene Duffey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.