Detroit Tigers: More Joe Nathan fallout, Ian Krol demoted
Joe Nathan‘s season is over on April 23, and while that may send some ruthless fans into overjoy, it is not a good thing for the Detroit Tigers.
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Despite whether or not you think that Nathan could close, he had been progressing and considering the way the Tigers’ bullpen pitching in the series loss to the New York Yankees, it wouldn’t have hurt to give him a shot in setup or middle relief. I have said I didn’t think Nathan should close, but with Bruce Rondon still a ways away from contributing, this loss is going to be taxing for the team.
Nathan, for his part, is ready to keep going on his major league path. It almost certainly will not be with the Tigers (who will need to pay the remainder of his $10 million salary this year and a $1 million 2016 buyout), but he wants to continue despite the long odds of a 41-42 year old free agent pitcher recovering from his second Tommy John surgery in five years.
Another bit of bullpen news broke on Thursday when the Tigers sent Ian Krol down to Toledo after an effective performance Wednesday night for Alex Wilson, one of the other pieces of the Rick Porcello–Yoenis Cespedes deal.
Tigers’ bullpen is worse without Nathan – Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press
"The grand experiment that looked so promising when the Tigers signed one of the game’s premier closers two winters ago mercifully concluded when Nathan felt a “pop” in his elbow. It’s always sad when an injury potentially claims a career. But it’s particularly melancholy in Nathan’s regard because his legacy in Detroit will be nothing compared with his other stops, such as in Minnesota and Texas.Nathan will be remembered as much for his blown fuses as his blown saves.But as much as some fans might think of Nathan as a jerk for his occasional tackiness, the bigger jerks are those somehow happy that Nathan’s injury made matters easier for manager Brad Ausmus and the Tigers’ bullpen because Joakim Soria now is the Tigers’ closer.The overall bullpen just became an even bigger question mark with the loss of Nathan. There’s now even more emphasis on getting a contribution from flame-throwing Bruce Rondon. The Tigers are wisely working Rondon at a measured pace as he recuperates from shoulder tendinitis. Rondon’s too valuable to be rushed."
Joe Nathan, bound for 2nd Tommy John surgery, says he’ll play again – Bob Nightengale, USA Today
"“I am happy with the way my career has gone,” said Nathan, whose has 377 saves, the seventh-most in baseball history, “but I am not done yet.“I am preparing myself to be a major-league player again. That is my goal, to come back and pitch again.“I also know that if it doesn’t work out, I have nothing to complain about. I’ve played baseball until I’m 40 years old.”Nathan, who has not pitched for the Tigers since opening day, sustained the injury during a rehab assignment pitching Wednesday in Toledo. He threw nine pitches, but on his 10th pitch, felt pain as if he had just broken his arm."
Tigers send down Krol, call up Wilson – Carlos Monarrez, Freep
"Wilson is 1-0 over 5 1/3 innings with the Mud Hens, with a 0.94 ERA. The 28-year-old has yet to play in a regular-season game for the Tigers. In the past two seasons, he appeared in 44 games with the Boston Red Sox and had a 3.38 ERA."