Joe Nathan has a sore elbow

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Joe Nathan’s rough first season in Detroit now includes an elbow injury, as James Schmehl of MLive.com reports that the 39-year-old closer has been unavailable for the past several games due to “elbow tenderness.”

Nathan has a 5.04 ERA and a career-high six blown saves in the first season of a two-year, $20 million deal and his secondary numbers have also shown major signs of decline at age 39. He also apologized after being booed off the mound by Tigers fans and giving the home crowd a chin-flick gesture last month.

Nathan–who had a 2.09 ERA for the Rangers in 2012/2013–is owed $10 million next season, plus a $10 million option or $1 million buyout for 2016.

Pedro Strop thinks he’ll be back before the end of the season

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Cubs closer Pedro Strop strained his hamstring last week and, at the time, the club said that he’d miss the rest of the regular season. He’s not so sure. Yesterday he said that he expects to return to game action before the playoffs begin. Strop told reporters that “everything is pain-free.”

Strop took over as the closer from Brandon Morrow, whose season is definitely over. Since Strop went down Steve Cishek, Justin Wilson, Jesse Chavez, Jorge De La Rosa, and Carl Edwards Jr. are handling ninth-inning duties on a rotating basis.

Strop is 6-1 with a 2.26 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 57/21 in 59.2 innings on the year. Getting him back would be a big deal for Chicago as they get ready for the postseason.