Tigers closer Joe Nathan made a minor-league rehab appearance today at Triple-A Toledo and left after just 10 pitches while reportedly clutching his elbow.
Nathan is on the disabled list with a strained flexor tendon and was scheduled to throw one inning and/or 25 pitches. He ended up leaving in the middle of the at-bat against his third batter.
Prior to leaving Nathan topped out in the high-80s with his fastball and James Schmehl of MLive.com described him as “clearly in pain” as he walked off the mound.
Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Nick Pivetta will rejoin the Phillies’ rotation, starting Tuesday’s series opener at home against the Cardinals. Vince Velasquez will remain in the bullpen.
Pivetta, 26, allowed 17 earned runs on 31 hits and eight walks with 16 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings across his first four starts of the season. The performance resulted in a demotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. In six starts there, Pivetta had a much better 3.41 ERA with a 50/20 K/BB ratio in 37 innings of work.
Velasquez, 26, was solid as a starter, posting a 3.99 ERA across six starts. However, he averaged under five innings and 92 pitches per start. The right-hander tossed two scoreless innings out of the bullpen on Friday against the Brewers but was torched for four runs in two-thirds of an inning on Sunday. Mixed results, to say the least. The Phillies are trying to do what they can with their bullpen, currently missing David Robertson, Tommy Hunter, Pat Neshek, and Vìctor Arano.