Bob Nightengale reports that Joe Nathan will officially announce his retirement at a ceremony at Target Field this Friday evening.
It was pretty clear that Nathan, who was released by the Nationals early this season, was at the end of the line, but it’s nice that the Twins will give him a proper sendoff. Nathan pitched in Minnesota for seven seasons in his 16 year career, saving 260 games for the Twins and posting a fantastic ERA+ of 204 and striking out 10.9 batters per nine innings over that span. Following Tommy John surgery he lodged a couple of solid seasons in Texas before going on to Detroit before a second Tommy John surgery in early 2015 basically ended his career. He’d make shot stops in San Francisco and Chicago before signing a minor league deal with Washington.
In all, Nathan compiled a record of 64-34 with a 2.87 ERA (ERA+ 151) and 377 saves, which puts him at number eight on the all-time list, just behind Dennis Eckersley and just ahead of Jonathan Papelbon.
The Angels have placed Andrew Heaney on the 10-day injured list with left shoulder inflammation, the club announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to July 17, though it’s not yet certain that he’ll be cleared to pitch again by the end of the month.
It’s an unfortunate development for the 28-year-old southpaw, who has battled inflammation in his pitching elbow on and off since spring training. In fact, his arm issues date back several years, including the shoulder impingement that put him on the shelf in 2017 and the Tommy John surgery he underwent in 2016. With such a complicated medical history, it makes sense that the Angels would want to proceed with caution as they facilitate the lefty’s eventual return to the mound.
Given his ongoing struggles, Heaney has seen mixed results with the club in 2019. Prior to his recent IL assignment, he pitched to a 1-3 record in nine starts with a 5.09 ERA, 3.7 BB/9, and 10.6 SO/9 through 46 innings. Since the end of June, however, his starts have gotten shorter and shorter; he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in his final outing against the Astros, expending a tremendous 103 pitches and issuing two runs, two walks, and five strikeouts during the team’s eventual 7-2 win.
In a corresponding roster move, the Angels claimed lefty reliever Adalberto Mejía off of waivers from the Twins. Mejía, 26, is expected to be activated ahead of Saturday’s game versus the Mariners. Over 13 appearances with Minnesota, he turned in an 8.80 ERA, 7.0 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 in 15 1/3 innings.