Despite Deal For Joakim Soria, Joe Nathan Is The Closer

Jul 11, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joe Nathan (36) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Detroit won the game 2-1. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

In the after glow of the Detroit Tigers trade for Joakim Soria the questiosn about hwo he and Joe Narhan will be used are beginning to surface.

The question was not addressed in the Detroit Tigers press release announcing the trade but Jason Beck of got to the bottom of it.

That response was expected by Dave Dombrowski but he doesn’t make decisions on the field. Joe Nathan has clearly lost something in his game and if he cant’ get it back in a hurry then Ausmus will have no choice but to pitch Joakim Soria into the 9th inning.

The question then becomes whether Joe Nathan would be effective in a role other than closer. That will be the developing story as the Detroit Tigers march toward October.

Joe Nathan’s role as closer will likely be tested tonight as the Tigers kick off a four game series with the American League West contending Los Angeles Angels. Every series is important now as teams are positioning themselves for a run at the playoffs.

The series is important for the Tigers who would like to keep the Cleveland Indians at arm’s length going down the stretch.