Now that the Tigers are officially open for business as sellers and David Price is headed to Toronto this comes as no surprise: Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that Detroit is “working to trade” closer Joakim Soria.
Soria was acquired from the Rangers in a trade deadline deal last year and has fared well stepping into the Tigers’ closer role for the injured Joe Nathan this season, saving 23 games with a 2.85 ERA and 36/11 K/BB ratio in 41 innings.
Soria has a lengthy track record of bullpen excellence dating back to his days with the Royals, but he’s also a 31-year-old impending free agent whose overall numbers aren’t quite as fantastic as they used to be.
Huston Street is pretty fixated on staying a ninth-inning-only guy. But to be fair it’s working for him. Last night Street picked up his 300th career save in the Angels win over the Twins.
It took him a while to get off of 299, as a groin injury, the All-Star break and the fact that the Angels have won a boatload of games by more than three runs lately kept putting it off. But last night he locked down the 5-2 win, the Angels’ 7th in a row.
Street, 31, is the second-youngest pitcher to get to 300, with only Francisco Rodriguez getting there younger. It took 346 save opportunities, which was the fifth-fewest all-time. He now stands tied for 25th all-time in saves with Bruce Sutter and Jason Isringhausen. There are 28 men in the 300-save club. Street is fourth among active closers. At least if you count Joe Nathan as active. Otherwise only Rodriguez, Jonathan Papelbon, and Nathan are ahead of him.
Meanwhile, Mariano Rivera and his mentor from back in his San Diego days, Trevor Hoffman, are over 600. Because, man, those guys were really, really good.
Reds starter Homer Bailey underwent Tommy John surgery along with teammate Matt Magill on Friday, MLB.com’s John Fay reports. Bailey had surgery in September to repair a tear in his flexor tendon and made his 2015 season debut on April 18, but only made it two starts before returning to the disabled list. Bailey will likely be out until midseason in 2016.
Bailey, 29, is in the second year of a six-year, $105 million contract extension with the Reds. He finished with a 3.71 ERA and a 124/45 K/BB ratio in 145 2/3 innings last season.
Bailey is the 17th major league pitcher to undergo Tommy John surgery since the beginning of the year, according to data collected by Jon Roegele of The Hardball Times. Six pitchers, including Bailey and Magill now, have had the procedure in the last two weeks. The others are Alex Cobb, Adam Ottavino, Brandon McCarthy, and Joe Nathan.
The Tigers received some grim news on Thursday when they learned closer Joe Nathan suffered a torn UCL in his right elbow during a rehab start. The right-hander will need season-ending Tommy John surgery. Nathan had made only once appearance during the 2015 regular season, recording a one-out save.
As Nathan is 40 years old and will be 41 if and when he takes the mound next season. That, along with his struggles last year, caused many to speculate that the veteran is headed towards retirement. Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports otherwise. “I am preparing myself to be a major league player again,” Nathan said. “That is my goal.”
Nathan blew seven saves with a 4.81 ERA and a mediocre 54/29 K/BB ratio in 58 innings.
Joakim Soria has pitched well in the closer’s role sans Nathan. On the season, he’s 5-for-5 in save chances with a 1.35 ERA and a 4/0 K/BB ratio in 6 2/3 innings.
Joe Nathan’s season and possibly his career are over, as the Tigers announced that the 40-year-old closer suffered a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow while rehabbing at Triple-A for a strained flexor tendon and will undergo Tommy John surgery.
Nathan cut short his Wednesday rehab appearance and walked off the mound in pain, so the significant injury is no surprise.
When the Tigers signed Nathan to a two-year, $20 million deal he was coming off a fantastic two-year run with the Rangers in which he saved 80 games with a 2.09 ERA and 151/35 K/BB ratio and prior to that he was an elite closer with the Twins for seven seasons.
In his decade-long (2004-2013) run as an elite closer Nathan saved 340 games with a 2.14 ERA and .545 opponents’ OPS. For comparison, during that same 2004-2013 span Mariano Rivera saved 369 games with a 1.92 ERA and .540 opponents’ OPS. Nathan also ranks fourth among all relievers in Win Probability Added since 1975, behind only Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, and Goose Gossage.
Things were never right for Nathan in Detroit, however, as he struggled enough to get booed off the mound at Comerica Park, fought back against the angry crowd by making an obscene gesture, and simply never got on track before being shut down with the injury.
Now he’s likely facing a 12-15 month recovery timetable, which means Nathan would be nearly 42 years old upon returning. Retirement seems likely after 15 seasons, 377 saves, a 2.89 ERA, six All-Star games, and $85 million in earnings.