Tuesday, March 9, 2010
The Sad End: Joe Nathan
The reports out of Minnesota are not good, in fact, they are terrifying. Joe Christensen of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis tweeted this morning that Joe has a "torn ulnar collateral ligament" and that a "decision about Tommy John surgery" is upcoming. Rotoworld is confirming the story as well.
My friends have been trying to rile me up of late with talk of Joe Mauer being traded and yesterday, one of them tried to get to me saying that Joe Nathan was done. I brushed it off, I mean he had a little off-season surgery to clean up some bone chips, I thought there was nothing to be too concerned about. Now the worst-case-scenario has seemingly occurred leaving the Twins without one of their most consistent closers in team history.
It seems clear that the Twins will at least be sans-Nathan for a few months, and most likely, for the entire season. Joe is 35 so he may just try to let this heal on it's own, but if he goes that route, there's no assurance that he'll ever return to the form that saw him save 246 games in 6 seasons with the Twins.
**head falls into hands
So now what? People say Jon Rauch, sure, he's got closer experience. Other people say Guerrier, which in my opinion would be a mistake. I'd like to go ahead and nominate Pat Neshek who is returning this season from Tommy John surgery. We're big fans of Neshek here at TheBatShatters, especially after he did an e-interview for us early last year. I don't have any stats that give backing to my nomination of Neshek, and more than likely he will be slotted as a middle-reliever or set-up man.
This is really disappointing, especially for as much optimism as I had (and still have in a lot of ways) for this upcoming season. Nathan has been about as close to a sure-thing as Twins fans have been able to count on for the past 6 years. He's a HUGE reason the Twins have been competitive and, to be honest, I think the Twins will struggle to replace him.