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.