Cards All-Time Top 40 –Jason Isringhausen #38


Posted Jan 17, 2007


Next up in our Top 40 countdown of the greatest St. Louis Cardinals players of all-time is the club’s closer for the last five seasons, Jason Isringhausen.

Jason Derik Isringhausen

The Basics

Position

Throw

Total Yrs

Yrs in StL

W

ERA

SO

SV

Pitcher

Right

1995-Present

2002-Present

12

2.70

283

173

The Awards

Hall of Fame

Retired #

World Champ

All-Star

MVP

Cy Young

Gold Glove

NA

NA

1

1

 -

 -

 -

Note: All stats and awards listed are for years as a Cardinal only.
Izzy’s career stats available from baseball-reference.com.

Voter Comments

Ray Mileur (32): Perhaps my higher ranking is in some part an effort to defend the beleaguered reliever who I know as a stand-up guy, who has always given his best in St. Louis and has consistently delivered on the field in spite of struggling with right shoulder, elbow and hip injuries.

His 173 saves in a Cardinals uniform makes him the All-Time saves leader ahead of Lee Smith, who comes in second with 160 saves. From 2002-2005, Jason racked up 207 saves for the third best across MLB, behind Mariano Rivera (250) and Trevor Hoffman (208).

Isringhausen, who had hip surgery in September, finished 4-8 with 33 saves and a 3.55 ERA and fans can believe what they want, but the Cardinals wouldn’t have made it to the postseason last year without Izzy’s contribution during the regular season.

Signed through the 2007 with a club option for 2008, Jason is supposed to be ready to start the 2007 season.

Jerry Modene (NR): Oh, ho, ho! The critics are going to have a field day with this selection! Actually, I came very close to picking Isringhausen, who has been a terrific reliever for the Cards for five seasons now – in some ways, he’s our greatest long-term reliever ever (Sutter and Smith were only with us for four years; Worrell only had four years of greatness before his arm went bad).

Ultimately, I went with Lindy McDaniel over Izzy because Lindy pitched in a day where great relief pitchers were a rarity; Izzy has the misfortune of pitching in an era where there are several great relievers and he suffers by the comparison to guys like Mariano Rivera and Eric Gagne and the like. Still, despite the injuries which cost him good parts of the 2003 and 2006 seasons, Izzy has been a steady – if nerve-wracking – performer and I have no problem with his inclusion on the Top 40 list.

Rob Rains (NR): He passed Lee Smith to become the Cardinals' career leader in saves in 2006 and has saved 32 or more games in four of his five years as a Cardinal, missing only in an injury-filled 2003. Since 2000, he has saved more games than any major leaguer other than Mariano Rivera and Trevor Hoffman. In his five years as a Cardinal, Isringhausen has limited opponents to a .204 batting average.

Brian Walton (36): Sometimes we stand too close to the tree to be able to fully appreciate how tall it stands. Such is the case with Jason Isringhausen. While I have been critical of the closer’s results in relation to his salary, money is not a part of this analysis – other than the point that when called upon, Izzy has usually been money in the bank.

It may not always be pretty, as we know. His save percentage as a Cardinal of 85.6% is sixth best of the top ten save men in MLB over the last five years. That was pulled down by his injury-limited 2006 campaign, when his 76.7% was only 12th-best in the National League.

In ranking here, I looked very closely at Izzy’s totals as a Cardinal compared to the club’s best at the position, including Todd Worrell, Lee Smith and Bruce Sutter, and he definitely belongs. On my list, I ranked them Sutter, Smith, Izzy and Worrell, with the top three each making my personal top 40. Of course, the others don't agree...

 

StL Yrs

W

ERA

SO

SV

Todd Worrell 

5

33

2.56

365

129

Jason Isringhausen

6

12

2.70

283

173

Bruce Sutter

4

26

2.72

259

127

Lee Smith

4

15

2.90

246

160

Voter Comments Key: Voter (Individual Ranking); NR = Not Rated

Master List: To see our entire list of the greatest 40 Cardinals players of all-time as they are unveiled daily, click here.

© 2007 stlcardinals.scout.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed.


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