Isringhausen Continues To Make Progress

Closer Jason Isringhausen, who had hip surgery in September after finishing the season with a 4-8 record and 33 saves, is working his way back in hopes of being ready for opening day.

Closer Jason Isringhausen threw 34 pitches Saturday and remains on pace to be ready to start the season.

St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan said of the 34 pitches, Isringhausen had his delivery timing sharp for 30 of them.

Last season Isringhausen blew a league-leading 10 saves before shutting it down in September to have surgery on his degenerative hip. There were some rumblings that the hip injury was career-threatening, but all indications are that he is expected to be ready close for St. Louis when the season starts.

Isringhausen came away from the session still optimistic; he had thrown just 25 pitches in his previous outing.

The Cardinals All-Time saves leader was grunting and losing some of his control on the final few pitches and it looks like he'll need all of spring training to get ready for the regular season.

He claims he can throw at 100 percent right now. I didn't see that in Saturday's session, but then again, there is no need to push or rush him back too soon and risk another injury.

On a very positive note, he did appear to have a full range of motion and didn't seem to pitching with any discomfort or pain, in his arm or hips.

Jason will continue throwing bullpen sessions twice every five days and is tentatively scheduled to make his exhibition debut on March 15.

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