Mets' Isringhausen OKs extended spring training

New York Mets reliever Jason Isringhausen said Wednesday he will stay in Florida for two weeks of extended spring training in the hope of landing a spot with the team.

Manager Terry Collins said he believes there will be a place for Isringhausen down the road.

"It's better than going home," said Isringhausen, who has been bothered by inflammation in his right elbow the last few weeks. "I'll wait two weeks and get a lot of throwing in while I'm here. Then we'll have another meeting, hopefully, and we'll go from there."

The Mets signed the 38-year-old to a minor league contract in the first days of camp, but Isringhausen had no intention of playing in the minors. He's counting on the Mets to call him up or finding another team.

The Mets told him Tuesday they were selecting Blaine Boyer for the final bullpen spot. General manager Sandy Alderson said durability was the main concern about Isringhausen, who has undergone three elbow surgeries during his 14-year career.

"It took me a couple days to figure out what I wanted to do," Isringhausen said. "I figured I've come this far, two weeks isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things."

Isringhausen said he hasn't spoken with any other teams. But if another club offers him a job, the Mets have the first right to call him up or let him go.

Collins expects to see Isringhausen in a Mets uniform.

"I still think that as we look down the road, you'll end up seeing him pitch for us," Collins said Tuesday. "As I told Izzy, 'Make no mistake about it, if you're willing to be patient a little bit and condition your arm a little bit, we're going to need help. There's no doubt about it.'

"I don't know of anybody who has ever gone through (the season) with the same bullpen."

While Isringhausen is staying in Florida, Jason Bay returned to New York on Wednesday for tests on a strained muscle in his left rib cage.

He began feeling discomfort during batting practice on Tuesday.

The Mets have until 11 a.m. Thursday to make a roster move if Bay goes on the disabled list. Lucas Duda remains in camp and could earn a spot. Nick Evans was placed on waivers Monday and his status is unclear.