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    Season in doubt for Twins Closer Joe Nathan

    Ouch. The AL Central looked to be competivie with the Twins, Tigers, and White Sox all expected to compete for the AL Central.

    Nathan has 'significant' tear of elbow ligament; season in doubt | StarTribune.com

    Closer Joe Nathan and the Twins were hit with the news this morning that he has a significant tear if the Ulnar Collateral Ligament in his right elbow, a potentially devastating blow to a team looking to make an extended postseason run.

    While surgery certainly looms as a possibility, Nathan will take two weeks to let the swelling in the area subside. He'll work with the trainers to strengthen the muscles around the elbow. And then he will try to pitch.

    If that doesn't go well, Nathan will have surgery that will end his season.
    Nathan had bone chips removed from his elbow during the offseason out of concerns that one of the chips could do damage to the ligament. He said early bullpen sessions went smoothly, and he headed to spring training optimistic that he was fully healed.

    But he felt tightness and discomfort in his elbow while throwing a pitch on Saturday against Boston and was removed from the game. That's when the decision was made for him to return to the Twin Cities for further examinations.



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    Re: Season in doubt for Twins Closer Joe Nathan

    Beat me by a minute...sorry for posting another thread about this! Tough story! Didn't realize he was 35 until I read the article. Could be a career ender...



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    Re: Season in doubt for Twins Closer Joe Nathan

    aw nuts.



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    Re: Season in doubt for Twins Closer Joe Nathan

    Crap!



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    Re: Season in doubt for Twins Closer Joe Nathan

    Not good for the Twins.... not good...



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    Re: Season in doubt for Twins Closer Joe Nathan

    If any team can overcome and injury to a significant player, it's the Twins. Look who they lost last year and still made the playoffs.

    They didn't have Morneau, Neshik, Crede, Perkins, plus a couple other pitchers I can't remember.


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    Re: Season in doubt for Twins Closer Joe Nathan

    Damn that sucks, Nathan has been so reliable over the years. Twins fans, who is their potential closer in waiting?



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    Re: Season in doubt for Twins Closer Joe Nathan

    Quote Originally Posted by RayShimley View Post
    Damn that sucks, Nathan has been so reliable over the years. Twins fans, who is their potential closer in waiting?
    I would guess Matt Guerrier. he's been pretty solid in the 8th inning for a couple years now.

    Jon Rauch is another guy from the pen that has closed a little before, and he certainly has the intimidation factor.

    They may also trade for someone to bolster the pen now, Heath Bell is a name that comes up often.

    One out of the box idea I had would be Francisco Liriano, if he struggles starting again early this year.



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    Re: Season in doubt for Twins Closer Joe Nathan

    Why not give Liriano a chance. The dude is tough for a couple innings then seems to flake out.

    Sometimes a change can really help the mental state of one's game.

    Then again, do we want Liriano handling pressure of that kind?


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    Re: Season in doubt for Twins Closer Joe Nathan

    I guess you try out Gurrier for a few weeks and if that fails you trade for Joel Hanrahan!



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    Re: Season in doubt for Twins Closer Joe Nathan

    A couple guys to keep in mind would be a couple guys from the minors. Delaney and Slama. They were pretty good last year, and I believe Slama was even a closer. I'd like to see him get a shot. I don't like the idea of Gurrier closing one bit. I think they need to trade for someone or possibly give Crain a shot.



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    Re: Season in doubt for Twins Closer Joe Nathan

    Quote Originally Posted by kurimski View Post
    A couple guys to keep in mind would be a couple guys from the minors. Delaney and Slama. They were pretty good last year, and I believe Slama was even a closer. I'd like to see him get a shot. I don't like the idea of Gurrier closing one bit. I think they need to trade for someone or possibly give Crain a shot.
    It will be a long long year if Jesse Crain is closing, that is scary. (last year Crain's ERA was 4.70, Guerrier's was 2.36).

    I also can't see Gardenhire ever letting a rookie close. I think the rookies will have a chance to pitch themselves into the bullpen, but I just don't see them closing.



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    Re: Season in doubt for Twins Closer Joe Nathan

    Quote Originally Posted by bawbie View Post
    It will be a long long year if Jesse Crain is closing, that is scary. (last year Crain's ERA was 4.70, Guerrier's was 2.36).

    I also can't see Gardenhire ever letting a rookie close. I think the rookies will have a chance to pitch themselves into the bullpen, but I just don't see them closing.

    Gardy would let a rookie close if we had a 3-4 run lead. Maybe over time, they would get comfortable. Sometimes rookies are better because they are numb to the pressure yet.


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    Re: Season in doubt for Twins Closer Joe Nathan

    Quote Originally Posted by kurimski View Post
    possibly give Crain a shot.
    Absolutely not!

    Crain would be the worst pick out of that bullpen for closing duties. If I had to rank in house guys, I would go:

    Guerrier
    Rauch
    Mijares (although he's a lefty)
    Neshek
    Condrey
    Crain



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    Quote Originally Posted by mjones34 View Post
    Why not give Liriano a chance. The dude is tough for a couple innings then seems to flake out.

    Sometimes a change can really help the mental state of one's game.

    Then again, do we want Liriano handling pressure of that kind?
    Because reports out of Ft Myers say that he is returning to his pre-Tommy John form, and if that's truly the case, he'll have a more important role - ace of the rotation.

    My guess is Gurrier, Neshek, or Roach steps up to take the job, or they go and get someone. While this does absolutely suck, I don't think it's the absolute devestation that is being predicted



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