Player Page

Joe Nathan | Relief Pitcher

Team: Detroit Tigers
Age / DOB:  (40) / 11/22/1974
Ht / Wt:  6'4' / 230
Bats / Throws: Right / Right
College: SUNY-Stony Brook
Contract: view contract details

Latest News

Recent News

Joe Nathan pitched around a pair of two-out hits to throw a scoreless fifth inning Tuesday against the Orioles.
This one was right out of the 2014 playbook: two quick outs, two hits, a foul home run and an inning-ending lineout before a run could cross. Nathan is penciled in as the Tigers' closer, but his margin for error is much slimmer than it was last season. Mar 3 - 4:38 PM

Highest Searched Players over the last 7 days

Player News


Lynn Henning of the Detroit News speculates that there's a "good chance" the Tigers could buy out Joe Nathan during spring training.

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski has stood behind Nathan publicly, even recently saying that he envisions him as the closer for 2015, but clearly they have doubts about his ability to rebound from a frustrating season in which he posted a 4.81 ERA and 1.53 WHIP over 62 appearances. He's still owed $10 million in 2015 with a $1 million buyout on a club option for 2016, so it would be pricey to turn the page. Ultimately, Henning doesn't rule out the possibility that Nathan will have a role next season, but it would be one where he'd be "hidden" in the Tigers' bullpen as opposed to pitching in crucial situations. It's something to keep an eye on.
Wed, Nov 12, 2014 10:41:00 AM

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski told Joel Sherman of the New York Post on Tuesday that the club is unlikely to be in the market for late-inning relief help.

The Tigers' bullpen was awful this season and played a big part in their early elimination from the playoffs, but Dombrowski said that they recently picked up Joakim Soria’s $7 million option as a way of staying out of the market. As of now, Dombrowski envisions Joe Nathan as the closer again in 2015 and Soria as his set-up man. Things could always change depending on how the offseason goes, but this stance could eliminate a potential suitor for David Robertson. It's unclear what it could mean for Andrew Miller, who is one of the most popular names in the free agent market.
Wed, Nov 12, 2014 09:54:00 AM

Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski said Wednesday that Joe Nathan will remain the team's closer in 2015.

But that stance could easily change if the Tigers land a better option on the open market this winter, or if Nathan struggles out of the gate next season. "I would think he starts as our closer going into it," Dombrowski said during his end-of-the-season press conference at Comerica Park. "But he has to perform up to the capabilities required of doing it." Nathan posted a rough 4.81 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in 62 appearances this year. He turns 40 years old in November.
Wed, Oct 15, 2014 05:27:00 PM

Joe Nathan pitched a perfect ninth in a 3-0 game for his 35th save on Sunday.

It looked like Nathan would be asked to finish a 1-0 contest, but the Tigers rallied for two runs in the bottom of the eighth. Nathan ends the year with a 4.81 ERA, the 10th highest mark ever for a guy with 30 saves. He actually posted ERAs of 3.00 in July, 3.48 in August and 3.00 in September. Still, there isn't a whole lot of confidence that he can get the job done in October.
Sun, Sep 28, 2014 04:41:00 PM

Joe Nathan retired the side in order in the ninth inning as the Tigers downed the Twins on Thursday.

Nathan even recorded a pair of strikeouts in the process. Comfortable ninth innings have been few and far between for the right-hander and his team. Nathan is 34-for-41 in save opportunities with a 4.89 ERA, a 1.56 WHIP, and a 54/29 K/BB ratio.
Thu, Sep 25, 2014 10:14:00 PM

Joe Nathan had another shaky ninth inning on Saturday, but was able to close out the Royals and protect a one-run advantage.

Even though he came away with his 33rd save, there are grumblings that Joakim Soria could get the ball the next time the Tigers have a lead to protect in the ninth inning. The veteran right-hander owns a 5.01 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and 52/28 K/BB ratio to go along with his seven blown saves on the season.
Sat, Sep 20, 2014 04:44:00 PM

Joe Nathan gave up two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning Tuesday, suffering the blown save against the Twins.

After watching his team take a one-run lead in the top half of the inning, Nathan proceeded to walk Trevor Plouffe with one out before allowing a Kurt Suzuki RBI double. Two batters later, Aaron Hicks ended the game with a walk-off infield single. Nathan's ERA is back up to 5.10, and with the Tigers needing every win they can get at this point manager Brad Ausmus will need to think long and hard about who gets the call the next time there's a save situation. Owners need to have Joakim Soria on the back burner just in case.
Tue, Sep 16, 2014 11:23:00 PM

Joe Nathan earned his 32nd save of the season Sunday in the Tigers' defeat of the Indians.

Nathan gave up a single to Michael Brantley, an RBI double to Carlos Santana, and then walked Jason Kipnis, but manager Brad Ausmus stuck with him and he was able to finish off the frame. Nathan has been flirting with danger all season and currently owns a 4.83 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 54 innings. He's blown six saves.
Sun, Sep 14, 2014 05:12:00 PM

Joe Nathan allowed the first two batters he faced to reach base in the ninth inning, but was able to escape with his 30th save in Tuesday's 4-2 victory over the Royals.

Norichika Aoki and Omar Infante both reached on infield singles, which left Tigers fans inches from catatonia. Fortunately for the Tigers, Nathan was able to sandwich a pick-off of Jarrod Dyson between two strikeouts to end the contest. It has not been a fun year for Nathan, who is now 30-for-36 in save opportunities with a 4.85 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, and 51/25 K/BB ratio.
Tue, Sep 9, 2014 11:32:00 PM

Joe Nathan has been unavailable for the past couple of games due to right elbow tenderness.

The Tigers haven't run into a save opportunity since Nathan last pitched on September 2. The veteran right-hander is thought to be available on Monday against the Royals, but this may be something worth monitoring down the stretch. Nathan owns a rough 5.04 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 53 appearances this season. Joakim Soria is due back from an oblique strain later this week.
Mon, Sep 8, 2014 01:18:00 PM

Joe Nathan worked around a two-out single to pick up his 29th save in Tuesday's win against the Indians

It didn't appear Nathan would have to work, as the Tigers were behind 2-1 through eight innings, but J.D. Martinez's three-run homer in the ninth sent Nathan to his feet to warm up. The Indians didn't mount much of a threat against him. The right-hander now has 29 saves in 35 opportunities with a 5.04 ERA, a 1.54 WHIP, and a 49/25 K/BB ratio.
Tue, Sep 2, 2014 11:19:00 PM

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.
Tue, Aug 26, 2014 11:11:00 PM

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.
Wed, Aug 20, 2014 12:11:00 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.
Sat, Aug 16, 2014 11:16:00 PM

Depth Charts

C1Alex Avila
2Bryan Holaday
3James McCann
4Manuel Pina
1B1Miguel Cabrera
2B1Ian Kinsler
2Hernan Perez
3Josh Wilson
SS1Jose Iglesias
2Andrew Romine
3Dixon Machado
3B1Nick Castellanos
LF1Yoenis Cespedes
2Casper Wells
CF1Anthony Gose
2Rajai Davis
3Wynton Bernard
4Xavier Avery
RF1J.D. Martinez
2Tyler Collins
3Steven Moya
DH1Victor Martinez
Starting Pitcher
S1David Price
2Justin Verlander
3Anibal Sanchez
4Shane Greene
5Alfredo Simon
6Kyle Lobstein
7Drew VerHagen
Relief Pitcher
R1Joe Nathan
2Joakim Soria
3Bruce Rondon
4Al Alburquerque
5Joba Chamberlain
6Joel Hanrahan
7Tom Gorzelanny
8Blaine Hardy
9Alex Wilson
10Josh Zeid
11Kyle Ryan
12Alberto Cabrera
13Angel Nesbitt
14Rafael Dolis