May 14, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Detroit Tigers catcher Bryan Holaday (50) congratulates pitcher Joe Nathan (36) after a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Tigers defeated the Orioles 7-5 completing the three game sweep. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Joe Nathan Is Still The Detroit Tigers Closer


Joe Nathan and Brad Ausmus had a conversation before Wednesday’s game. After that conversation Ausmus was convinced that Joe Nathan should stay in the closer role. That is if Nathan can keep from walking the leadoff man.

We’ve got to get their leadoff guy,” Ausmus said. “Joe knows that.”

So with that condition Ausmus will hand Joe Nathan the ball the next time a save opportunity comes up. Even though his closer seemed frazzled by the fans booing him after the Blue Jays  dropped two runs on him Tuesday.

“Every pitcher is an individual, so they react differently to what’s happening,” Ausmus said. “Joe has been doing this for a very long time. He’s obviously experienced failure in the past. He’s not perfect in closing out games in his career.

“The best closers have the ability to put that last blown save behind them. As a closer, you have to have a special makeup mentally. It’s a special breed to be a closer.”

That said, the biggest question about Nathan’s ability to close may not be his head but rather his right arm.  After suffering from dead arm at the beginning of the season, Nathans velocity and control hasn’t been what it used to be.  That could mean that Nathan doesn’t have the stuff to close.

 If that is the case the Detroit Tigers hopes will rest with Joel Hanrahan‘s ability to rebound from Tommy John surgery.  Not exactly how Dave Dombrowksi and company drew it up in the off-season.

Tags: Detroit Tigers Joe Nathan

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