Maddon's words do make it sound like he's thinking Isringhausen as the long-term closer this year, with a committee approach until he's ready -- or at least that he's hoping Izzy will show he's ready.
From the Tampa Tribune writer (http://www2.tbo.com/content/2009/may/22 ... orts-rays/
And then there's Jason Isringhausen. One of the reasons the Rays signed the veteran closer to a minor-league deal during spring training was to serve as insurance for Percival, but Maddon said Friday he didn't want to "just thrust him into that role; he hasn't been there in a while."
The Rays have yet to see Isringhausen, who was activated from the disabled list Monday, work in a high-pressure situation. But if he shows he can approach the form that helped him accumulate 293 career saves, they will be open-minded.
"It's certainly feasible that he takes the position over and goes out the rest of the year and pitches the ninth inning, but we're not setting those expectations right now," said Friedman. "We're just going to continue to do it the way we have on days that Percy's been down and see if someone emerges."