Joe Nathan was hoping to bounce back from a miserable 2014 season and show he’s still a closer-caliber reliever at age 40, but instead he’s already headed to the Tigers’ disabled list with a strained elbow.
Nathan picked up a one-out save on Opening Day by striking out former teammate Torii Hunter thanks to umpire Joe West’s controversial call. Last season he blew seven of 42 save chances and posted a 4.81 ERA, getting booed off the mound in Detroit several times.
Detroit has another experienced closer in Joakim Soria ready to step into ninth-inning duties and by the time Nathan is healthy there’s a chance manager Brad Ausmus won’t want him back in the closer role.
MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.
Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.
Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.
The entire camp was placed in quarantine.
“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”
Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.
The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.
“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”