Bob Nightengale reports that Joe Nathan will officially announce his retirement at a ceremony at Target Field this Friday evening.
It was pretty clear that Nathan, who was released by the Nationals early this season, was at the end of the line, but it’s nice that the Twins will give him a proper sendoff. Nathan pitched in Minnesota for seven seasons in his 16 year career, saving 260 games for the Twins and posting a fantastic ERA+ of 204 and striking out 10.9 batters per nine innings over that span. Following Tommy John surgery he lodged a couple of solid seasons in Texas before going on to Detroit before a second Tommy John surgery in early 2015 basically ended his career. He’d make shot stops in San Francisco and Chicago before signing a minor league deal with Washington.
In all, Nathan compiled a record of 64-34 with a 2.87 ERA (ERA+ 151) and 377 saves, which puts him at number eight on the all-time list, just behind Dennis Eckersley and just ahead of Jonathan Papelbon.
Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza dove for a ball in a spring training game last night, missed, and ended up injuring his right shoulder.
It looked bad, too. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson stood over him, frantically waving to the dugout for a trainer as Souza kicked his legs in apparent pain. Souza held his arms awkwardly as he walked off the field. At the moment the Dbacks are calling it a right shoulder strain, but he’ll get an MRI on it today after which a more specific diagnosis will come.
If Souza is out for a while it’s a pretty big blow to Arizona’s 2018 plan. Souza was acquired to help cushion the blow of losing J.D. Martinez in free agency. While not the hitter Martinez is, Souza hit 30 homers in Tampa Bay last year, stood likely to at least match that in the more hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and, of course, plays superior defense.
Potential replacements for Souza include moving David Peralta from left to right and inserting Yasmany Tomas in left or having fourth outfielder Dyson, or perhaps a platoon of Dyson and utilityman Chris Owings, handle right. Socrates Brito is another internal option.
Obviously the Snakes will wait to hear the results of the MRI before going too deeply into replacement plans, all the while hoping that Souza’s injury is far less serious than it appeared to be last night.