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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: 15 | Salary: $8,000,000 | Owned/Started%: 48/4 | Average Draft Position: 225.88
DET

Latest Updates

 

Tigers RP Joe Nathan (elbow) throws bullpen session Monday


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(4/20/2015) Tigers pitcher Joe Nathan threw a full bullpen session Monday, reports MLive.com. It was his second bullpen session since beginning rehab on his elbow.

Nathan is dealing with a right elbow strain and is eligible to come off the disabled list Wednesday, but manager Brad Ausmus said he isn't sure if Nathan will be activated then.

Ausmus added that he won't decide if Nathan will take over the closer's role until he returns from the DL, reports the Detroit Free Press.

Joakim Soria picked up his fifth save in as many attempts during Monday's win over the Yankees.


Tigers' Joe Nathan needs game work before he returns


by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(4/19/2015) Tigers reliever Joe Nathan is eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday. Manager Brad Ausmus isn't sure if Nathan will be activated on that day, per MLive.

Ausmus did say that Nathan would need game work--either a simulated game or a rehab appearance--before he returned to the Tigers. 


Tigers pitcher Joe Nathan throws bullpen Saturday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(4/18/2015) Tigers pitcher Joe Nathan was able to throw a 15-pitch bullpen session Saturday for the first time since landing on the disabled-list, reports MLive.com.

"I planned on just long tossing, but I felt awesome," Nathan said. "(Pitching coach Jeff Jones) might had a plan but I didn't know about it. But I said, 'Let's do it.'"

Nathan, who has been on the DL with a right elbow flexor strain since April 7, is eligible to be activated Wednesday. He is expected to throw a full bullpen session Monday.

"I'm eligible, but I don't want to speculate on what we're going to do." he said. "I assume they would want me to get some game action to make sure (I'm ready)."


Tigers closer Nathan has first bullpen session since going on DL


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4/17/2015) Tigers reliever Joe Nathan threw a light bullpen session Friday, his first since being placed on the disabled list with a right elbow flexor strain. He is eligible to be activated next Wednesday.

Joakim Soria has thrived in the closer role since Nathan was sidelined. He has four saves and has allowed just one earned run. If Nathan does return as the closer, the performance of Soria could shorten his leash.


Joe Nathan to return to role as Tigers closer upon activation?


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/15/2015) Tigers manager Brad Ausmus is still planning for veteran Joe Nathan to return to the closer's role when healthy, per MLB.com. However, he left the door slightly open Wednesday to Joakim Soria keeping the job once Nathan returns.

"We'll see what happens, but that's the plan," Ausmus said. "The most important thing, obviously, is to get him back."

Soria has been a perfect 3 for 3 in save opportunities since replacing Nathan, who is on the 15-day disabled list with flexor strain in his right elbow.


Tigers' Joe Nathan still a few days away from throwing


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/14/2015) Tigers closer Joe Nathan will receive treatment for a few more days before he is cleared to resume throwing, according to MLB.com on Tuesday. Nathan was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 8 with right elbow flexor strain.

Tigers' Joe Nathan diagnosed with Grade 1 flexor strain


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/10/2015) Tigers closer Joe Nathan told reporters he was diagnosed with a Grade 1 flexor strain in his right elbow, according to MLB.com.

"He probably won't pick up a ball for somewhere in the neighborhood of a week," manager Brad Ausmus said, per MLive.com.

Nathan was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Wednesday with the issue. Manager Brad Ausmus told reporters Wednesday he would like to have Nathan back in a "few weeks." Joakim Soria will take care of all the ninth-inning duties while Nathan remains sidelined.


Joe Nathan lands on DL with flexor strain, Joakim Soria to close


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(4/8/2015) Tigers closer Joe Nathan was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right flexor strain on Wednesday, general manager Dave Dombrowski announced. Joakim Soria will serve as the closer while Nathan remains sidelined, manager Brad Ausmus confirmed, per MLB.com.

"Hopefully, we'll have Joe back in a few weeks," Ausmus said, per the Oakland Press.

The team did not reveal when Nathan sustained the injury, but Ausmus insisted that it was not related to his ulnar collateral ligament. His only appearance of the season was a one-out save on four pitches on Opening Day.


Tigers closer Joe Nathan nets one-out save on Opening Day


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4/6/2015) Tigers closer Joe Nathan picked up his first save of the 2015 season during a 4-0 win Opening Day against the Twins. 

Nathan entered the game in the ninth inning with two outs and two on after David Price threw 8 2/3 scoreless innings. Nathan needed just four pitches to retire Torii Hunter on a strikeout and record his 377th career save.


Tigers pitcher Joe Nathan pitches fine after hangnail issue


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/30/2015) Tigers pitcher Joe Nathan felt just fine in his one scoreless inning of work Monday after dealing with a hang nail on his thumb a few days ago, reports MLB.com.

"He threw some good two-seam fastballs," manager Brad Ausmus said. "Really, the single was a swinging bunt. He did a good job."

Nathan has now tossed eight scoreless innings in 11 appearances this spring.


Tigers' Joe Nathan will make an appearance on Monday


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/28/2015) Tigers pitcher Joe Nathan is scheduled to make an appearance on Monday, according to the Detroit Free Press. Nathan suffered a broken thumbnail while pitching Thursday, which caused a cut on his thumb. He said the thumbnail affected the ability to throw breaking balls during the game.

Nathan has surrendered two earned runs over his last 2 2/3 innings of work in Grapefruit League play.


Tigers pitcher Joe Nathan breaks thumbnail Thursday


by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(3/26/2015) Tigers pitcher Joe Nathan suffered a broken thumbnail while pitching Thursday, which caused a cut on his thumb, reports MLB.com.

"The thumbnail looked like it was cutting into his thumb," manager Brad Ausmus said, per MLB.com. "He was bleeding. He had [blood] all over his pants, so he must have been wiping it off the whole time. Certainly, that was an issue."

Nathan gave up a game-tying home run Thursday and he has surrendered a home run in each of his last two outings. Despite Nathan's struggles, Ausmus said he was sticking with Nathan as the team's closer, reports the Detroit News.

Nathan was already set to take the next three days off to rest, which Ausmus hopes will be enough time to allow the injury to heal. 

"We hope it'll be healed by then," Ausmus said.


Tigers reliever Joe Nathan surrenders first run of spring training


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/22/2015) Tigers relief pitcher Joe Nathan gave up his first run of spring training after surrendering an inning-opening double. Despite the early mistake, Nathan was able to keep his cool on the mound and finish the inning with just the one run allowed.

"He only had one bad pitch," manager Brad Ausmus said to MLB.com. "After that, he was OK."

Nathan knows he needs to work on his location heading into his next appearance.

"My mindset is there. That's where my sights are," Nathan said. "Each time out, I've just been concentrating on being down in the zone with every pitch and coming up by design when I want to. Hopefully I'm able to execute more."


Tigers closer Joe Nathan remains committed to changing approach


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/21/2015) Following a disastrous outing March 12 against the Phillies, when he allowed six runs (four earned) in two-thirds inning, Tigers closer Joe Nathan has tossed three straight scoreless innings. He has allowed one walk and has three strikeouts in that span.

“It’s just continuing to learn and adjust,” Nathan said after a perfect inning Friday against the Yankees, per The Detroit News. “We preach it all the time. We’ve got to adjust. We are creatures of habit but we also have to be very good at adjusting.

“When your game adjusts, your arm changes and you have different pitches, you have to adjust with it and not just think you can pitch the same way you used to.”

Nathan is coming to terms with the fact he is no longer a pitcher than can constantly throw in the mid-90s and finish off batters with a devastating slider. He's been working with pitching coach Jeff Jones on making adjustments to his delivery after Jones discovered last year a flaw relating to Nathan's arm slot.

“When baseball players are successful, and Joe’s been extremely successful in his career, and successful doing things a certain way for years and even a decade, it’s tough to tell yourself to change,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “I don’t think it’s a bad thing that Joe is looking at himself and trying to find ways to be better as he matures in his career."

Nathan said the adjustments have also had a lot to do with how he pitches to batters.

“Coming into this year, I’ve been concentrating on locating strikes, not just throwing strikes,” he said. “Before it was just go out and work ahead. Now it’s keep the ball down. I am way more effective when I am ahead in the count, but from there I have to keep the location down.

“When my fastball is down and my slider starts out at the same spot, it’s a much more effective pitch. And then from there, my curve ball opens up my other pitches.”


Tigers' Joe Nathan gets back on track in appearance Tuesday


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(3/17/2015) Tigers pitcher Joe Nathan threw one scoreless inning Tuesday after struggling to find his way in his last appearance. Nathan was able to work out of a jam after getting behind on a couple of hitters, reports MLB.com.

"It's kind of what I was hoping for after last time," he said. "Just after an extended inning and coming back quick … I was hoping doing that would allow me to feel good today and feel like I can get behind it a little bit more and have more on each pitch. I kind of got exactly what I was looking for today."

Nathan was able to strikeout Tony Gwynn Jr. after falling behind in the count.

"We went four-seam fastballs the whole at-bat," Nathan said, "and then I figured he saw enough four-seamers, so we tried to just mix it up. [I] started it exactly where the four-seamer started and dropped it out of the zone."


Tigers' Joe Nathan will get another crack at the Phillies


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(3/14/2015) Tigers pitcher Joe Nathan was scheduled to throw a side session on Saturday, but instead, he opted to pitch in a spring game against the Phillies, reports Jason Beck of MLB.com. Nathan was hammered for six runs -- four earned -- on five hits in just two-thirds of an inning against the Phillies on Thursday.  He has a 9.82 ERA this spring.

Tigers' Nathan not bothered by booing: 'I don't care to be honest'


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3/13/2015) Pretty much nothing went right for Tigers closer Joe Nathan during his relief outing in Thursday's spring game against the Phillies. When the dust settled, Nathan lasted just two-thirds of an inning. He was charged with six runs (four earned) on five hits and one walk.

Even though the Tigers were the home team, that didn't stop Tigers fans from serenading the veteran closer with a chorus of boos as he was removed from the game.

"I don't care to be honest," Nathan said, per MLive.com. "You know, those guys, to be honest with you, aren't even on my mind. Fans aren't in my mind. Only people that really matter to me is my family and the people in this locker room."

Nathan faced similar situations in 2014 as Tigers fans booed him on several occasions. Nathan has dealt with plenty of scruitny since signing a two-year, $20 million contract in Dec. 2013. He had an up-and-down year in 2014, going 5-4 with a 4.81 ERA and 35 saves. He also had seven blown saves last season.

"I don't want to make a bigger deal than it is," said Nathan when asked if he considered the crowd's response to be unusual during a spring training. "Fans are going to be the way they are and that's the way it is.

"It doesn't bother me. It's not a part of my life. They're not a part of my life. Period."


Tigers P Joe Nathan has bad outing in loss to Phillies


by Jason Butt | CBSSports.com
(3/12/2015) Tigers pitcher Joe Nathan had a fifth inning to forget 

Nathan gave up four earned runs on five hits in a 6-5 loss to the Phillies on Thursday. Nathan was pulled after only recording two outs. He also walked a batter. Whit Mayberry came in to relieve Nathan. 

Nathan was credited with a loss. His ERA for the spring is now 9.82. 


Tigers' Ausmus: Joe Nathan's fastball 'looked good' Tuesday


by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(3/3/2015) Tigers pitcher Joe Nathan threw 21 pitches in his first appearance of the spring, pitching the fifth inning of Tuesday's 15-2 win over the Orioles.

Nathan's fastball topped out at 92 mph, and manager Brad Ausmus said after the game that it looked good, MLive.com reports.

"I thought the fastball looked good," Ausmus said. "I thought the slider was better out there when he faced hitters (earlier in camp), but I thought the fastball was good."

Nathan said that his fastball felt pretty good but that his breaking stuff moved too laterally and not enough downhill.

"That's pretty simple to feel and get back in," he said. "I could tell that right off the bat where I yanked a curveball during one of the at-bats. Overall, it felt good for the first one. Threw four-seamers, two seamers, some sliders -- some decent, some kind of backed up on me -- but overall good for the first one."


Tigers bullpen all but set for opening day


by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(2/28/2015) Tigers manager Brad Ausmus is feeling confident about his pitching staff headed into the start of the season. So much so, that he's expecting six of the seven spots to already be taken by Joe Nathan, Joakim Soria, Bruce Rondon, Al Alburquerque and Joba Chamberlain, reports MLive.com.

"Those six, it'd be surprising if they weren't on the team," Ausmus said Friday morning. "Something strange would have to happen just based on their performances from the past."

This leaves Alex Wilson, Josh Zeid and Buck Farmer all battling for the final slot in the bullpen.

"You're always concerned about injuries," Ausmus said. "I think that's where the depth comes into play, where, if something unexpected comes up, we have a lot of arms we feel like can produce at the major league level. ... If something happens at any time, we feel that we have a quality arm that we can slide right in."


Tigers' Ausmus says age didn't contribute to Joe Nathan's woes


by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(2/25/2015) Tigers manager Brad Ausmus stopped by to watch Joe Nathan's bullpen session Wednesday and gave the veteran reliever a stamp of approval after watching his throwing session. 

“I thought he looked good,” Ausmus said, per The Detroit News. “Just to see the action on his slider. I have faced Joe Nathan. When he’s right, I think of some of the best sliders I’ve seen – Brad Lidge, Robb Nen, Joe Nathan are at the top of the list. Mostly I was looking to see his fastball command and the action on the slider.”

The 40-year-old Nathan is coming off a down season in 2014, but Ausmus doesn't feel Nathan's advanced age will be a problem in him bouncing back in 2015. Ausmus indicated Nathan's struggles last season were a combination of poor mechanics and transitioning to a new team.

“In Joe’s case, I look at last year as more of an aberration and less as a result of the aging process,” he said. “That’s why I’m not as concerned about it.

“The reason I say that I am not concerned is because he was so good in October of 2013. And over the course of four months he didn’t age that much. As much as you want to look at an older player when he struggles and point to age, I just don’t see Joe’s struggles were a result of his age. I couldn’t imagine it would be that much of a drop-off.”


Tigers' Joe Nathan alters offseason workouts to stay fresh


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/22/2015) Tigers reliever Joe Nathan altered his offseason workouts in order to stay fresh, according to MLB.com.

Nathan admitted that he doesn't want people to think he's washed up after last year. "I don’t want people thinking that I’m done," he said. "I think coming into not just the spring, but coming into the season, I want to prove to myself and other people I still have something left in the tank."

In order to get off to a quicker start, Nathan decided to work more on his agility during the offseason. "It’s almost like I’m going back to the younger days as far as agility-type stuff and seeing if we can get some more in my legs, keep my spring in my legs, as opposed to just doing squats and squats and squats," he said. 

Nathan added that he's lifting more weight than he ever has, and said his range of motion has improved. The 40-year-old Nathan posted a 4.81 ERA over 58 innings last year. 


Brad Ausmus sets Tigers bullpen roles for 2015, Nathan to close


by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(1/22/2015) Tigers manager Brad Ausmus announced his tentative plans for his bullpen this season, according to mlive.com.

Ausmus said that, in an ideal world, Bruce Rondon would be used in the seventh inning, Joakim Soria would pitch in the eighth and Joe Nathan would close games out. Rondon is a bit of a question mark, as he's coming off March Tommy John Surgery. He's expected to be fully healthy by spring training, but the team will move him along slowly at first.

After a midseason trade brought him to Detroit, Soria was actually a better pitcher than Nathan. Despite that, Nathan managed to hold onto the closer role.

That appears to be the case again heading into 2015. Nathan posted a 4.81 ERA over 58 innings last season. It was his highest ERA since 2011. Nathan still managed to save 35 games with the club. 


Dombrowski: Joe Nathan still Tigers closer heading into 2015


by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(10/15/2014) Tigers general manager and president Dave Dombrowski has proclaimed embattled right-hander Joe Nathan as the team's closer in 2015 despite plans to bolster what was a terrible bullpen this season.

"I would think he starts as our closer going into it," Dombrowski told MLive.com. "But he has to perform up to the capabilities required of doing it."

Nathan struggled mightily in his first season with Detroit after signing a two-year deal worth $20 million. He converted 35 of 42 save opportunities, but finished with a 4.81 ERA. He did bring it down from 5.61 at the All-Star break, but lost velocity and recorded a 1.56 WHIP in the second half.


Joe Nathan makes quick work of Twins


by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(9/25/2014) Tigers closer Joe Nathan made quick work of the Twins for his 34th save of the season Thursday night. He struck out two and needed only eight pitches to close out a 4-2 win. He has converted all but seven of his 41 save chances this season, with a 4.89 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP over 57 innings of work.