The Detroit Tigers will be looking for a new closer, as Joe Nathan is out for the season.
Detroit Tigers closer Joe Nathan will miss the rest of the 2015 season after an MRI discovered a UCL tear in his right elbow, according to a report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports.
Nathan didn’t exactly endear himself to Tigers fans last season, as he was the biggest culprit in a Detroit bullpen that was largely seen as the reason an otherwise stacked team was unable to win a title. Hopefully, Nathan will be remembered for a dominant career rather than one poor season in Detroit if this is the end for him. Nathan ranks seventh all time with 377 saves and owns a 2.89 ERA for his career.
While the Tigers won’t miss Nathan’s poor performance, it forces them to shuffle around roles in a thin bullpen. Manager Brad Ausmus hasn’t officially named a closer, although one clear favorite has emerged.
Joakim Soria is the most obvious choice to take over Nathan’s role. If Soria can’t get the job done, the Tigers will have to scramble for a replacement.
5) Joakim Soria
By all means, this is Soria’s job to lose at this point. Soria has a number of succesful seasons under his belt and the “proven closer” label that managers seem to love so much.
Most importantly, Soria is the best pitcher in Detroit’s bullpen right now. Through 6.2 innings pitched this season, Soria has allowed just one run on two hits and hasn’t walked anybody.
Perhaps the Tigers are just cursed with relievers, as Soria pitched poorly while dealing with injuries after the trade deadline following a succesful first half of the season with the Texas Rangers. But it’s fair to trust Soria’s multiple years of success over two months of failure, so he will rightfully be the full-time closer for now.
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