FanPost

Does Izzy Induce Heart Attacks? Blasphemy?

I don’t think I will get many dissentions when I say that Izzy has been a good guy and solid closer for the Cards ever since 2002.  Izzy grew up in Cardinals country in Brighton, IL, just north of STL.  He is by all accounts a good solid citizen, except for a trash can punching incident that led to a broken wrist, but that happened long ago as a Met.  So why rag on Izzy?  First of all, my intention is not to rag on him.  Second, I am extremely thankful for his efforts for the last six years including 2006.  I can’t really blame the guy for being a trooper and pitching injured in 2006.  Plus, 2006 turned out alright, didn’t it?  So what’s my problem?  Well, I am getting older, and I am afraid that one of these days Izzy will induce me to have a heart attack during the ninth inning. 

I feel that Izzy saves are always high drama with more twists and turns than an episode of the Young and the Restless.  At first, I thought I was being unfair, because my impression could be colored by his injury year of 2006.  But here are some numbers from 2007, which by all standards was a really good Izzy year (see Table 1).  I had plotted this info which is a good way of showing time series data, but I couldn’t copy and paste it from my clipboard (anyone, help?).  In Table 2, I compare him against 32 other closers/relievers from 2007.  I dropped some relievers because they were not the primary closer.       

 

Table 1. Izzy Stats With Cardinals (from fangraph)

Season

ERA

SV

BS

K/BB

HR/9

WHIP

BABIP

LOB%

FIP

2002

2.48

32

5

3.78

0

0.98

0.284

66.20%

1.99

2003

2.36

22

3

2.28

0.43

1.17

0.272

75.80%

3.15

2004

2.87

47

7

3.09

0.6

1.04

0.261

72.60%

3.17

2005

2.14

39

4

1.89

0.61

1.19

0.253

87.20%

3.78

2006

3.55

33

10

1.37

1.54

1.46

0.247

85.10%

5.75

2007

2.48

32

2

1.93

0.55

1.07

0.226

76.80%

3.72

 

In Table 2, I have posted some of Izzy’s stats and ranked them.  For example, looking at column 2, ERA, we see that he is ranked ninth or at the top 28th percentile.  His ERA was 2.48 which is between the best ERA of 1.38 (J.J. Putz) and 5.07 (Borowski). 

 

Table 2. Izzy vs. Rest, 2007 (from fangraph)

 

WHIP

ERA

FIP

LOB%

K/BB

HR/9

Rank

10

9

20

15

27

11

Percentile

31

28

63

47

84

34

Izzy

1.07

2.48

3.7

76.8

1.93

0.55

Best

0.7

1.38

2.2

94

6.31

0.28

Worse

1.49

5.07

4.8

67

1.43

1.93

 

Izzy is definitely a good closer that is above average according to Table 2.  Here are some of my interpretations:

1. Izzy has relatively high walk rate, 3.86 (sorry I forgot to include this in the table), and LOB% of 76.8%  that is in the 47th percentile, i.e. average.  His WHIP is good. His K/BB is 1.93 or 84th percentile!  With the aforementioned stats, I feel less guilty of accusing Izzy of being a heart attack inducer, since people do get on base against him and some get home.    

2. Although his ERA is 2.48 or 28th percentile, his FIP is 3.7 or 63rd percentile. 

 

So I will throw out questions which others have asked.  Would we want to trade Izzy?  Would it be even feasible to trade Izzy seeing that he has a no-trade and no one is heir apparent?  I think Izzy has trade value and it might be a sell high time this year.  The other thing that I didn’t bring up is his salary compared to other closers.  I simply don’t have the salary data easily accessible. 

 

I have to give a disclaimer that this is one of my first attempts at analyzing fangraph data.  So please be merciful with your critiques of my fanpost.  But I do appreciate your suggestions so that I can learn more about baseball data analysis and baseball in general.  I know that I only used one year data, 2007.  I am not very efficient so  I was too lazy to look at more data.   

 

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