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player photo
 
36 Joe Nathan RP
Height/Weight: 6-4/230 | Birthdate: 11/22/1974 | Birthplace: Houston, TX | Bats/Throws: R/R | Team: Detroit | College: Stony Brook | MLB Experience: 14 | Salary: $8,000,000 | Owned/Started%: 80/63 | Average Draft Position: 107.04
DET

Latest Updates

 

Locked-in slider helping Joe Nathan lock in


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/25/2014) In the wake of a trade for possible replacement Joakim Soria, Tigers closer Joe Nathan managed his most impressive performance of the season Thursday night. He fanned the side against the host Angels to collect his 21st save. And he had a rediscovered slider to thank for it.

Nathan has been working on that pitch recently. That work certainly paid off in that appearance.

"That was as long as I've seen his slider, I think all year possibly," Brad Ausmus told mlbblogs.com. "It was clear that the hitters weren't picking up the rotation on his slider. It looked like a fastball to them and they swung right over the top. That's the slider I remember facing. ... You start your swing and it just drops out of the strike zone. It almost has a split-finger action to it."

Nathan has been coming around after his latest slump. He has pitched scoreless ball in his last three outings with five strikeouts and just one hit allowed in three innings. He has picked up two saves in the process.


Joe Nathan strikes out the side for save No. 21


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/25/2014) Tigers reliever Joe Nathan needed only 12 pitches to strike out the side in the ninth for the save Thursday night against the Angels. Nathan has converted 21 save in 26 tries. He owns a 5.73 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP over 37 2/3 innings of relief.

Joe Nathan to remain the closer


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7/23/2014) Tigers reliever Joe Nathan will remain the team's closer, according to MLB.com.

Detroit acquired Joakim Soria Wednesday, muddying up the roles in the bullpen. According to general manager Dave Dombrowski, Nathan will proceed as the club's closer. Nathan has a 5.89 ERA over 36 2/3 innings. 


Joe Nathan earns 20th save Monday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/22/2014) Tigers closer Joe Nathan locked up his 20th save Monday, giving up one hit and striking out one in a scoreless ninth inning to finish off his team's 4-3 win over the Diamondbacks.

Nathan has pitched on three straight days, including giving up three earned runs in a loss Saturday, so he's due for a day off Tuesday. He owns a 5.89 ERA and 39:16 K:BB ratio in 36 2/3 innings.


Joe Nathan still closer despite another dud Saturday


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(7/20/2014) Embattled Tigers closer Joe Nathan is safe in his spot for now despite his continued struggles, per MLive.com, which has reported that Brad Ausmus is not considering a change.

Nathan gave up a three-run double in the ninth inning of a tie game Saturday against Cleveland. He has yielded at least one run in four his last eight appearances.

"I'm sure there's a possibility I could reach a point sometime," Ausmus said in regard to replacing Nathan. "I'm not near that point. I'll let you know when I am."


Joe Nathan takes loss Saturday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(7/19/2014) Tigers closer Joe Nathan was stuck with a loss Saturday, giving up three earned runs on two hits and two walks in one inning and striking out two in his team's 5-2 defeat against the Indians.

Nathan (4-3) had put together four scoreless outings in July before Saturday's meltdown, and the Tigers may expedite their search for bullpen help as a result. He owns a 6.23 ERA and 37:16 K:BB ratio in 34 2/3 innings.


Joe Nathan escapes shaky outing with 19th save


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/11/2014) Tigers reliever Joe Nathan worked past a shaky outing for the save Friday night against the Royals in Kansas City. 

Nathan gave up one hit and one walk while striking out one in a scoreless frame to secure a 2-1 victory. Of his 27 pitches, only 13 were strikes. He is 19 of 24 in save chances, with a 5.61 ERA and a 1.51 WHIP over 33 2/3 innings of relief.


Joe Nathan finding his form


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(7/10/2014) Tigers closer Joe Nathan has pitching coach Jeff Jones and bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer to thank for saving his season.

"They did some research and noticed my arm was two inches higher than it's ever been," Nathan said, per MLive.com. "And the only way I can do that is by pulling my head towards first base. That's the only way you're going to get your arm even higher, so I knew my head wasn't going towards the target, going towards the plate and everything was kind of out of whack.

"It was more with the alignment and keeping everything towards the target. It was making me have to work harder than I had to. They say drop the arm angle, but for me it was more keeping my head in position, which will naturally bring your arm out and away from your body, which lowers your arm angle a little bit."

Nathan got to work fixing the flaw in his pitching mechanics and started implementing a few changes, beginning with a June 19 outing against the Royals. Since then, he has a 3.38 ERA and has converted five of six save chances.

"At first, like anything, when you start to change something, it feels awkward," Nathan said. "I knew there was more zip behind (my pitches), I knew there was more whip in my arm and I was locating better. So I knew this was the way to go (since the adjustmant) and if I kept doing it it would get more and more comfortable. Now I'm starting to get a good feel for release point as far as breaking pitches and stuff like that."


Joe Nathan fans two for 18th save


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(7/9/2014) Tigers closer Joe Nathan worked a perfect ninth for his 18th save of the season Wednesday against the Dodgers.

Nathan struck out two batters and retired one on a groundball to close out the game, on just 14 pitches. He lowered his ERA to 5.79, while recording his 18th save in 23 chances in a 4-1 win. 


Joe Nathan secures 17th save Saturday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6/28/2014) Tigers closer Joe Nathan surrendered a solo home run Saturday but still managed to earn his 17th save in his team's 4-3 win over the Astros.

Nathan has given up a run in three straight appearances, but despite his shaky numbers, he has converted four of his last five save opportunites. The closer owns a 6.37 ERA and 30:13 K:BB ratio in 29 2/3 innings.


Joe Nathan surrenders run in 16th save


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6/25/2014) Tigers closer Joe Nathan gave up one earned run on two hits Wednesday but also struck out a batter while securing his 16th save in his team's 8-6 victory over the Rangers.

Nathan gave up a double and a single with one out to plate a runner, but he was able to retire the next two batters he faced to finish off the game. After giving up runs in back-to-back appearances, Nathan owns a 6.28 ERA and 29:13 K:BB ratio in 28 2/3 innings.


Tigers confident Joe Nathan has turned corner


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6/25/2014) The Tigers believe that Joe Nathan has turned a corner, and the team will not look to add a new closer before the trading deadline, the Detroit News reports.

"Well, we do not need a closer at this point, so we would not look for that," general manager Dave Dombrowski said on MLB Network Radio Wednesday. "We may need a little bit of help in the bullpen, maybe middle relief. But we’re not looking for that closer, and that gives you a very comfortable feeling."

Nathan has converted 15 of his 20 save opportunities while posting a 6.18 ERA and 28:13 K:BB ratio in 27 2/3 innings. He's been markedly better over the last two weeks, giving up one earned run in 4 2/3 innings over his last five appearances.


Joe Nathan blows save No. 5


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(6/22/2014) Tigers closer Joe Nathan blew his first save in more than three weeks Saturday, in a game the Tigers would go on to win 5-4 in extras against the Indians.

Nathan struck out the first two batters he faced with a one-run lead, but came apart from that point on. He allowed three straight singles to bring the tying run across. The offense would score once in the 10th inning to earn Nathan the win, his fourth of the season.

Nathan's struggles continue, thought he has struck out seven batters in his last three appearances. He is just 15 for 20 on save chances on the season, with an ugly 6.18 ERA in 27 2/3 innings. 


Arm slot change has been behind Joe Nathan surge


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6/21/2014) Tigers closer Joe Nathan credits a mechanical adjustment for his recent emergence from the doldrums. He told the Detroit News that an "almost sidearm" arm slot has resulted in two saves and five strikeouts in his last two appearances.

Nathan has managed four straight scoreless outings after giving up 10 earned runs in his previous 3 1/3 innings.


Joe Nathan records second straight save


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(6/20/2014) Tigers closer Joe Nathan tossed his fourth scoreless outing in a row Friday, as he closed out a 6-4 win over the Indians.

Nathan retired the side while allowing one hit for his second save in as many nights. He struck out two batters on 19 pitches for his 15th save of the season, and just second in the month of June. 


Joe Nathan fans three to nail down save against Royals


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6/19/2014) Tigers closer Joe Nathan had a bounce-back performance Thursday afternoon. And it couldn't have come with a greater flourish or at a better time.

Nathan struck out Billy Butler, Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain in the ninth to allow his team to salvage the finale of a four-game series against a Kansas City team that had wrested first place away from it.

The appearance will quiet the critics for now that had called for Nathan to be removed from the job. He had given up 10 runs on 14 hits and five walks in his previous five innings pitched.


Joe Nathan picks up rare win Sunday


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(6/15/2014) Tigers closer Joe Nathan picked up a win Sunday against the Twins.

Nathan entered with the game tied 2-2 in the ninth inning. He made things interesting, allowing two singles during the outing, but managed to prevent the Twins from scoring. In the bottom of the inning, the team won on a walkoff hit, giving Nathan the win. Nathan's record improved to 3-2 on the year. 


Manager: Age a non-factor in Joe Nathan collapse


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6/14/2014) Brad Ausmus has downplayed the age factor in regard to the struggles of 39-year-old Tigers closer Joe Nathan.

Nathan's latest dud was Friday night in a non-save situation against Minnesota. He walked two and threw a wild pitch in 2/3 of an inning.

"You guys keep bringing the age up," he said via MLive.com. "He's six months older than he was last year and it might have been the best year of his career. I understand that fage is a factor in athleticism, sports. Usually what you see is a decline in velocity, and I haven't really seen that in Joe. He's throwing the same as he was a year ago. Now maybe the location isn't great, but I wouldn't say that's a result of age."

Nathan has surrendered 10 earned runs runs on 12 hits and five walks in his last four innings covering six appearances. He yielded two runs on three hits in his only save during that stretch.


Tigers profess faith in Joe Nathan


by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(6/9/2014) Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said he's not wavering in his support of closer Joe Nathan, who's allowed 10 runs in his last 3 1/3 innings. "I’m not concerned about him," Ausmus told the Detroit Free Press. "He will get it ironed out. We need him to get it ironed out."

Joe Nathan struggles in non-save situation


by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com
(6/7/2014) Tigers closer Joe Nathan was allowed to pitch in another low-leverage situation Saturday, but he struggled yet again in an 8-6 win over the Red Sox.

Nathan entered the game in a non-save situation with a four run lead, but ended up having to pitch with the winning run at the plate before the inning was done. He allowed two runs on four hits in the outing, while also uncorking a wild pitch that led to one run scoring.

With the tying run at first base, Nathan ended the game by inducing a fly out by Stephen Drew. The team has tried to keep him away from difficult situations recently, but Nathan has still struggled. He is 13 for 17 in save situations with a 7.04 ERA, having allowed 18 runs in 23 innings of work.


Joe Nathan figures to have long leash


by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(6/4/2014) Let's not rush to pick up Joba Chamberlain just yet.

Certainly if it's a deep league and you can't afford to lose your primary source of saves, handcuffing Joe Nathan isn't a terrible idea, but that would have been true even before this stretch in which he's allowed 10 earned runs in his last six appearances.

As manager Brad Ausmus -- the one who makes these decisions -- suggested Wednesday, Nathan's track record gives him a longer leash than most closers. He has consistently been one of the best in the role for more than a decade now, and the Tigers gave him a big contract this offseason because they were convinced he would end their ninth-inning circus once and for all. Are four bad outings really enough for them to re-open Pandora's box, especially after they invested all that money just so they wouldn't have to?

Nathan had a 3.24 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 8.1 strikeouts per nine innings before this rough patch began -- good enough numbers to have everyone believing nothing is wrong. And all the underlying factors suggest nothing is wrong. His velocity is the same as last year, as is his pitch selection. As long as it continues, the results should follow.


Manager: Joe Nathan still our closer


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(6/4/2014) Brad Ausmus indicated after the latest meltdown by Joe Nathan that his closer will remain in that role for the foreseeable future.

Nathan yielded four earned runs in just 1/3 of an inning in a non-save situation Tuesday against Toronto. The result was a defeat for the Tigers.

"Joe's been very good for a very long time, and I expect him to be very good for the Tigers," Ausmus told the Detroit News. "And he expects himself to be very good. But even the best have rough times."

Nathan has been miserable recently. He has given up 10 earned runs in his last 4 1/3 innings as his ERA has soared from 3.22 to 6.86. He has taken two losses during that stretch.


Joe Nathan rocked in non-save situation Tuesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(6/3/2014) Tigers closer Joe Nathan gave up four earned runs on two hits and two walks while recording just one out in his team's 5-3 loss to the Blue Jays Tuesday.

Nathan (2-2) entered the game in the top of the ninth inning with the teams still scoreless, and he was able to get just one out while watching one runner cross the plate, leaving with the bases loaded. All three runners would eventually score. Nathan has come apart in his last three outing, giving up eight earned runs and recording just four outs. His ERA now sits at 6.86.


Joe Nathan nearly coughs up another lead


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(5/29/2014) Tigers closer Joe Nathan nearly blew another lead on Thursday against the A's, surrendering two runs in the ninth and managing to escape a 5-4 win with his 13th save of the season.

Nathan entered the game in the ninth with a three-run lead before allowing a run-scoring single to Yoenis Cespedes and a run-scoring double to Josh Reddick. He was charged with two runs on three hits and one walk while striking out one in one inning of work. He is 13 of 17 in save chances with a whopping 5.23 ERA over his first 20 2/3 innings of relief.

Manager 'not concerned' about Joe Nathan


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(5/29/2014) Brad Ausmus has expressed confidence in Tigers veteran closer Joe Nathan despite recent struggles.

Nathan blew the game Wednesday night for teammate Anibal Sanchez by giving up a three-run homer to Josh Donaldson in the ninth. It marked his fourth blown save of the year. He has surrendered four runs in his last three innings pitched.

"It's relatively typical for a closer," Ausmus told MLB.com. "It seems like they blow a couple of saves then have a long run of saves. It always seems to happen that way. I'm not concerned about him."

Nathan is 12 for 16 in save opportunities in 2014, but his 4.58 ERA is the second-highest he's recorded in any full season since entering the majors in 1999.