The St. Louis Cardinals’ All-Time 28-Man Roster

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Bullpen Slot #6 – Jason Isringhausen

The greatest Cardinals’ closer in team history doesn’t get to be the closer? Wow what a pen this must be. In an effort to create the best bullpen of all time, even one better than that pen of that Kansas City team, sacrifices have to be made. That sacrifice is Jason Isringhausen as a seventh inning guy to set up two of the greatest closers in league history.

In his prime, Isringhausen was automatic and lethal. He wasted no time in 2002 when he first came on as the Cardinals’ closer, he finished the season with 32 saves and an ERA of 2.48 and an even more impressive FIP of 1.75 and an ERA+ of 162. That year Izzy, struck out a prodigious 9.4 batters per nine innings, which was his career best number in that department.

It is hard to really pin point a best year for Isringhausen, as from 2003-2005 the closer had an ERA of 2.36 (FIP 2.98) and 176 ERA+ in 2003, 2.87 (3.02 FIP) and 148 ERA+ in 2004, leading up to a 2.14 (3.60 FIP) and 199 ERA+ in 2005. In those three seasons, Isringhausen also totaled 108 saves.

After the injury in 2006, Isringhausen returned with a 2.48 ERA (3.76 FIP) in 2007, saving 32 games for the Cardinals, before his last season with the Cardinals in 2008, where he struggled with a 5.20 ERA (4.87 FIP) in 42 appearances that year. This was the last of Isringhausen as we knew him, but without a doubt from 2001-2006 he was one of the most dominant closers in the game and he will fit well into this bullpen.

Isringhausen’s 217 saves as a Cardinal are the most in team history and stand as a record that could be hard to pass, with the shelf life of closers in these days. However, with few more 40-50 save seasons by Trevor Rosenthal, that record could be gone before we know it. He could also make it onto this all-time roster in a few years.

Next: Bullpen Slot #7 - Lee Smith