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The Season that Was: Maicer Izturis

Maicer Izturis
Maicer Izturis
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Jays signed Maicer Izturis, back in November, to a 3 year, $9 million contract, with an option for a fourth year at the same $3 million with a $1 buy out. That turns it into a $10 million contract, if they decline the option. The smart money is on them declining. It was, at the time, the largest free agent contract that Alex had ever handed out. Melky Cabrera would beat it out a little later. Maybe Alex should give up on the whole free agent thing.  In the comment thread in the post announcing the signing most of us thought it was an ok signing.

Some looked at his home/road splits, seeing he had a 730 OPS on the road and .510 at home, meant he would have a good season in Toronto.

Our prediction thread saw most of us being thinking he'd do pretty good. My guess was:

115 games, .275/.340/.370 5 home runs, 45 RBI and 10 stolen bases.

Yeah, blew that one.

2013 - Maicer Izturis 107 365 33 86 12 0 5 32 27 38 1 5 .236 .288 .310

Fangraphs had him at a -2.1 WAR, the worst WAR number in baseball. That gives him a negative value of $10.6 million to the Jays. He really was awful. The hopeful part is that his BABIP was .249, much lower than his .289 from last year. He was likely hitting in a bit of bad luck, but that won't explain away the bad defense.

He walked less (6.8% down from 7.8) and struck out less (9.5%, down from 11.9) than in 2012.

He hit about the same amount of line drives as last year (22.5%, down from 22.9). Hit more ground balls (52.0%, up from 47.4). And fewer fly balls (25.5%, down from 29.7). More of his fly balls left the park (6.0%, up from 2.7).

A switch-hitter, Maicer hit LHP (.259/.287/.319) a little be better than RHP (.225/.288/.305).

He was pretty much equal at hitting at home (.217/.286/.313, with 4 home runs), as on the road (.251/.289/.307 with 1 home run).

He was pretty awful with RISP, .213/.270/.247, as much as Buck and Pat tried to tell us otherwise.

By month Izturis hit:

April: .193/.221/.289 with 2 home runs and 4 RBI.

May: .232/.283/.339 with 1 home run and 2 RBI.

June:.261/.296/.380 with 2 home runs and 12 RBI.

July: .286/.371/.312 with no home runs and 10 RBI.

August: .193/.254/.193 with no home runs and 4 RBI.

September: Injured.

So, ummmm, July was kind of good.

As bad as his bat was, he was likely even worse with the glove. He played three positions:

  • Second base: In 413 innings he had a -26.7 UZR/150. He made 5 errors, for a .975 fielding average, some worse than the league average .985 at the position.
  • Third base: In 291 innings he had a -23.1 UZR/150. He made 2 errors for a .968 fielding average, a little better than the .959 league average.
  • Shortstop: In 174 innings he had a -22.0 UZR/150. He made 3 errors for a .961 fielding average, a little worse than the .973 league average.

The eye test pretty agreed with UZR, he showed no range in the field. Maybe the speed of the turf at Rogers caused his troubles, but I really don't think so. He just looked slow. I'm hoping that, somehow, this was a one-year thing and that his defense will look better next year, but I can't see any real reason to figure he'll be any better.

He also didn't run the bases well. Fangraphs rates him at 1.8 runs worse than the average base runner.

His favorite team to face? He hit .444/.500/.630 in 8 games against the Orioles.

His least favorite? He had 2 singles and a walk in 13 plate appearances against the Braves. so let's go with them, but he was pretty bad against a lot of teams.

His longest hitting streak was 6 games, in early July. Longest on base streak was 8 games. The longest he went without a hit was 4 games.

The Jays were 43-55 in games he started, for a .439 winning percentage. We were better in games he didn't start, .484 WP.

For a handful of games, Gibby decided to bat Izturis second. It didn't work well, he hit .196/.263/.196 in those games.

Maicer went on the DL with an ankle spring on August 22 and missed the rest of the season.

It was easily the worst season Maicer's long career. He hasn't had WAR in the negatives since his rookie season as an Expo, when he had a -0.3 WAR. He can't possibly be this bad again next year. Right? Also, he can't possibly play this much next year, I hope. If the speed of the turf caused his defensive problems, maybe it would be a good idea for the Jays to put the same turf into one of their spring training fields. If the turf causes that much trouble, it should be a home field advantage for us.