5. Joe Nathan (Detroit Tigers)
Mar 14, 2015; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Joe Nathan (36) throws a pitch during the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Saves: 35, ERA: 4.81, WHIP: 1.53, Innings Pitched: 58, K/9: 8.4.
The Detroit Tigers closer did not have a memorable debut with the division champs last year. He may not even be the closer by the time this article is even posted which is why he resides in the fifth spot.
Nathan has had a great career and is a borderline Hall of Famer with over 376 saves, but at age 40 his best years are behind him.
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Nathan’s season could swing two ways. He could return to his form of two years ago where he posted an era of 1.39 with 43 saves or he could continue his slide into mediocrity and get replaced as Detroit’s closer and possibly cut.
Joakim Soria is still with the Tigers and has closer experience and would be most likely the next guy up. Brad Ausmus cannot afford to be patient as the division race is looking to be extremely tight and more than likely will be decided by a few games if not by a game once the season comes to a close.
Next: No. 4: Injury Concerns in Minnesota