Joseph Michael "Joe" Nathan (born November 22, 1974) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball (MLB). Nathan started out his baseball career as a shortstop in high school and while at Stony Brook University, but converted to a pitcher after being drafted by the San Francisco Giants. He worked his way through the minor leagues, alternating between spots in the rotation and the bullpen. After a few years of splitting time between the majors and the minors, Nathan had a breakout season as a setup man for the Giants in 2003. That offseason, Nathan was traded to the Minnesota Twins and became their closer.
From 2004 to 2009, Nathan was considered one of the top closers in MLB with four All-Star appearances and a league-leading 246 saves. In 2010, Nathan underwent Tommy John surgery to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing elbow and missed the entire season. On April 3, 2011, Nathan recorded his first save since his injury against the Toronto Blue Jays and later that year in July, Nathan regained the role as closer. On August 10, 2011, he became the Twins all-time leader in saves with his 255th in a game against the Boston Red Sox. After the 2011 season, Nathan left the Twins via free agency to sign with the Texas Rangers, becoming an All-Star again in 2012 and 2013. On April 8, 2013, he earned his 300th save. Nathan is currently 7th on the all time saves list.
By Dean Hanley
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