Joe Nathan spent the offseason talking about how he planned to have a bounceback year and show everyone he wasn’t washed up after a decade as an elite closer, but the early results aren’t promising.
Nathan, whose first season in Detroit included a 4.81 ERA and lots of boos from Tigers fans, allowed six runs while recording two outs this afternoon. Even more worrisome, his fastball was clocked in the high-80s and he topped out at 91 miles per hour.
Nathan was so good for so long with the Twins and Rangers that a bounceback season at age 40 didn’t seem as crazy as it might for other pitchers, but unfortunately it’s looking more and more like he may simply be finished as a top-end reliever. Detroit owes him $10 million this year.