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Joe Nathan | Relief Pitcher

Team: Detroit Tigers
Age / DOB:  (39) / 11/22/1974
Ht / Wt:  6'4' / 230
Bats / Throws: Right / Right
College: SUNY-Stony Brook
Contract: view contract details

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Recent News

Joe Nathan had a rare perfect ninth inning as he picked up his 28th save in Tuesday's victory against the Yankees.
Nathan had allowed runs in each of his last three appearances, continuing what has been a tumultuous season, but the Yankees did not threaten the right-hander on Tuesday. Nathan was able to retire Carlos Beltran, Martin Prado, and Stephen Drew to end the contest. He is now 28-for-34 in save chances with a 5.25 ERA, a 1.58 WHIP, and a 49/25 K/BB ratio. Aug 26 - 11:11 PM

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Despite giving up a run, Joe Nathan picked up his 26th save as the Tigers beat the Rays 8-6 in 11 innings Tuesday.

Fortunately, one of the AL's few relievers consistently worse than Nathan this year, Grant Balfour, gave the Tigers some margin for error by giving up three runs in the top of the 11th. One of those runs scored on a bases-loaded walk and another came on a wild pitch. Nathan got the first two batters in the bottom of the 11th, then gave up a single, a walk and an RBI single before striking out Sean Rodriguez to end it. He's still blown just two saves since the beginning of June, but after a pretty nice run in July, he has looked very shaky again of late.
Aug 20 - 12:11 AM

Joe Nathan picked up his 25th save despite allowing a run in the ninth inning on Saturday.

David Price twirled eight innings of beautiful one-run ball. Joe Nathan then came in and twirled one inning of failure. Nathan might not have blown the game, but he did allow two hits and a run. Brad Ausmus recently said that he was sticking with Nathan in the ninth, but Joba Chamberlain is lurking and if Nathan doesn't start to improve on his ghastly 5.20 ERA and 1.58 WHIP, his days are numbered.
Aug 16 - 11:16 PM

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus told reporters Saturday that he's sticking with Joe Nathan at closer.

Nathan took his sixth blown save of the season Saturday in the Tigers' loss to the Blue Jays, allowing a run on two hits and two walks while recording just one out. But the veteran right-hander apparently still has some leash. Joakim Soria has not been good since joining the Tigers and suffered an injury in Saturday's game. Joba Chamberlain might be the best guy to own as Nathan insurance.
Aug 9 - 4:41 PM

Joe Nathan was saddled with his sixth blown save of the season in Saturday's loss to the Blue Jays, surrendering a run on two hits and two walks in his 1/3 of an inning.

This coming on the heels of Nathan loading the bases and nearly blowing another save on Friday night. The damage against him should've been worse, had it not been for Joakim Soria entering and bailing him out of a bases loaded, one-out jam. His grasp on the closer's role is nearly gone.
Aug 9 - 4:22 PM

Joe Nathan made things interesting by loading the bases in the ninth inning on Friday, but managed to escape with a one-run lead to earn his 24th save of the year.

After the Tigers tagged Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen with three runs in the top half of the inning, Sloppy Joe did his best to give the lead right back to the Blue Jays. He allowed a leadoff single to Jose Bautista and issued two-out walks to Colby Rasmus and Juan Francisco, but was able to get Josh Thole on a foul pop out to end the night. He has now fired scoreless innings in 11 of his last 12 outings, lowering his ERA from 6.37 to 5.18.
Aug 8 - 10:47 PM

Joe Nathan closed the door on the Yankees, pitching a scoreless 12th inning to pick up his 23rd save on Tuesday.

For the first time since early May, Nathan can once again say he has strung together six consecutive scoreless appearances. The right-hander is 23-for-29 in save chances with a 5.31 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, and 45/17 K/BB ratio. As long as he continues pitching well, the closer's job will remain his.
Aug 5 - 11:29 PM

Joe Nathan was able to navigate the ninth inning without surrendering a run on Friday, despite allowing a hit and a walk in the frame.

The veteran right-hander has pitched better of late, but still has been forced to dance on raindrops and pitch out of danger in far too many situations. He sports an unsightly 5.45 ERA, 1.46 WHIP and 45/17 K/BB ratio on the season, but with Joakim Soria struggling with his new club Nathan's security in the ninth inning is actually growing.
Aug 1 - 10:20 PM

Joe Nathan struck out the side to emphatically shut out the lights on the Angels in a 6-4 Thursday victory.

He did so as new Dave Dombrowski toy Joakim Soria looked on from the bullpen area. This was the second time this season that Nathan has struck out the side. Nathan toted an embarrassing 6.23 ERA from the ballpark after July 19's blown save against the Indians, but he's struck out five and given up just one hit and no walks in three consecutive shutout appearances. As long as he keeps stringing together scoreless appearances, Brad Ausmus will keep trotting Nathan out in the ninth. If Nathan returns to his June form (9.00 ERA), however, it will be Soria time in Detroit.
Jul 25 - 1:45 AM

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said Joe Nathan will remain the Tigers' closer despite Wednesday's trade for Joakim Soria, according to's Jason Beck.

It was a legitimate question, as Nathan owns a 5.89 ERA and five blown saves on the year. The right-hander has been better in July, though, having been scored upon in just one of his seven appearances. Soria will presumably hold down a setup role with his new club, but he will be looming if Nathan falters in the closer role going forward.
Jul 23 - 11:55 PM

Joe Nathan worked around a single to toss a scoreless ninth, preserve a 4-3 win, and earn his 20th save of the season Monday against Arizona.

Nathan has finished off scoreless appearances in six of his last seven. Unfortunately, the one he didn't was a three-run implosion over the weekend against the Indians, after which the media began discussing his job security. Nathan has been scored upon in 10 of his last 22 appearances, but manager Brad Ausmus has proven he'll grant an extremely long leash. Nathan is 20-for-25 in save conversions to go with a 5.89 ERA and 1.53 WHIP.
Jul 22 - 1:01 AM

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Saturday that he's "not near that point" to replace Joe Nathan at closer.

Nathan on Saturday allowed a bases-clearing double, which was preceded by a double and two walks (one intentional). He's been scored upon in 10 of his last 20 appearances and holds a 9.00 ERA over that stretch. Yet, Ausmus is sticking by his veteran closer. "I'm sure there's a possibility I could reach a point sometime," he said. "I'm not near that point. I'll let you know when I am."
Jul 20 - 9:31 AM

Joe Nathan slammed the door on the Royals in the ninth inning on Friday, preserving a one-run advantage and earning his 19th save of the season.

The 39-year-old closer has pitched better of late, but still owns a troublesome 5.61 ERA, 1.51 WHIP and 35/14 K/BB ratio over 33 2/3 innings on the season. He isn't a good bet to magically turn his season around and improve his ratios, but should continue to be able to rack up saves at the back of the Tigers bullpen.
Jul 11 - 11:18 PM

Joe Nathan struck out two over a perfect inning to convert his 18th save of the season in Wednesday's win over the Dodgers.

It was a painless ninth inning, as Nathan entered to protect a three-run lead and got Hanley Ramirez to ground out and Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp to go down swinging. Nathan has converted three straight save chances, but it's certainly been a shaky year overall with a 5.79 ERA, 1.50 WHIP and five blown saves.
Jul 9 - 4:08 PM

Joe Nathan earned his 16th save of the season Wednesday in the Tigers' defeat of the Rangers.

Nathan was again shaky, however, yielding a one-out double to Shin-Soo Choo and an RBI single to Adrian Beltre before rallying for the final two outs. The veteran right-hander has a brutal 6.28 ERA and 1.60 WHIP on the season. Joba Chamberlain should get his shot eventually.
Jun 26 - 1:00 AM

Depth Charts

C1Alex Avila
2Bryan Holaday
1B1Miguel Cabrera
2B1Ian Kinsler
SS1Eugenio Suarez
2Andrew Romine
3Jose Iglesias
3B1Nick Castellanos
LF1J.D. Martinez
2Andy Dirks
CF1Rajai Davis
2Ezequiel Carrera
RF1Torii Hunter
2Don Kelly
DH1Victor Martinez
Starting Pitcher
S1Max Scherzer
2David Price
3Justin Verlander
4Anibal Sanchez
5Rick Porcello
Relief Pitcher
R1Joe Nathan
2Joakim Soria
3Joba Chamberlain
4Al Alburquerque
5Phil Coke
6Blaine Hardy
7Pat McCoy
8Jim Johnson
9Evan Reed
10Luke Putkonen
11Joel Hanrahan
12Bruce Rondon