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The Value of Jason Isringhausen

By Mike Silva ~ March 14th, 2011. Filed under: Mike Silva, New York Mets.

If you bet me a month ago that Jason Isringhausen would become one of the more popular stories in Port St. Lucie I would have probably had you committed. Here we are more than halfway through spring training and Isringhausen is still wearing a Mets uniform. He may not know why, or at least that is what he told David Waldstein of the NY Times, but there is a real chance the former Mets phenom opens the season in the bullpen.

I wrote weeks ago why I am rooting for Izzy to make the team. Putting aside the personal bias, after reading the Waldstein piece there is clear value to having a veteran like him around this year. No, I am not talking about the statistical value like Wins Above Replacement (WAR), ERA+, or WAR converted to dollars. None of those were particularly impressive his last full season in 2008. What is impressive is how Isringhausen has taken the learning’s from a wasted youth, and is trying to give back to those who have the future ahead of them.

Whether its teaching rookie John Lujan his signature knuckle curve, talking pitch selection with Ike Davis, or prodding Mike Pelfrey to take a leadership role, Isringhausen is trying to do his part to help the team win. I am not suggesting this supersedes on the field production, but there is reason to believe his arm still has life watching his five innings this spring. I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a shot to pitch high leverage baseball in an eighth inning role.

If the guy can still pitch and provide the type of off the field mentorship described above, he may be the best value signing by Sandy Alderson to date. And no, unlike a month ago, I don’t that it’s crazy to make such a statement.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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5 Responses to The Value of Jason Isringhausen

  1. R U Kidding

    Kind of reminds me of Cora,Barajas, and Francouer. Remember how well the Mets played until they all petered out and had to be let go? Good clubhouse guys,you gotta love them.

  2. Stu B

    But Izzy’s has performed at a higher level than Cora, Barajas, and Francoeur ever did, so the upside is greater…

  3. 86mets

    Izzy hasn’t performed at a high level since 2007, had a terrible 2008, missed 3/4 of 2009 and ALL of 2010 recovering from Tommy John surgery. At 38 yrs old he is highly, highly unlikely to be effective anymore. This is a simple replay of 2003 when the Mets brought back a washed up David Cone who had missed the previous season as well. If you don’t recall how that experiment ended up just go to Baseball-Reference.com and search David Cone.

    Carrying Izzy is a bad idea. Spring training #’s can be wildly skewed by facing other teams’ B squad minor league players, whether you’re talking about a pitcher or hitter. Plus, if Izzy makes the team he’s taking the spot of a younger and more talented pitcher which the Mets need to look at in this, a semi-rebuilding season. This Cinderella story does not deserve a story book ending.

  4. matthew

    Wow. buzzkill comments.

  5. Ryan

    Izzy is this years Billy Wagner, 2 years removed from Tommy John and 38 yrs old. He is healthy for the 1st time in 2 years and his velocity is back up. As long as he doesn’t get injured again I see no reason to assume he can’t be successful.

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