Detroit Tigers: Top Five Bold Predictions for 2015

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Mar 14, 2015; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher

Joe Nathan

(36) throws a pitch during the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

RP Joe Nathan Will Not Finish the Season with the Tigers

It is probably bolder to state Nathan will be a top closer this season at the age of 40, but even Motor City Bengals isn’t that bold.

Nathan was having a decent spring until the Philadelphia Phillies lit him up on Thursday for six runs, four earned on five hits in two-thirds of an inning.

If Nathan struggles early like he did last season, he very well could lose his closing role to Joakim Soria or Bruce Rondon. In that scenario, Nathan would have to become a middle reliever, which might prove to be too big of an adjustment for him.

With the exception of a couple months in 2011, Nathan has been a closer since 2004 meaning he is trained for one inning and to come into the game with no one on base.

Middle relievers don’t have the luxury.

Additionally, middle relievers sometimes warm up multiple times per game because situations change in the middle innings. That is something Nathan probably won’t be able to withstand at his age.

Therefore, if Nathan does indeed lose his closer job, he very well could lose his job altogether in Detroit.

Next: Tigers' risks breaking their way