Matt Capps will get the job as the Twins closer for now until Joe Nathan figures out what is wrong with himself and starts pitching like the All-Star closer we know and love. And miss a lot.
Nathan, who is 0-1 with an obscene 8.44 ERA over six games so far this season, addressed the ongoing issue to Ron Gardenhire after Saturday's 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay in which he unraveled during one-third of an inning. He had this to say about his recent struggles:
Until I start getting that back, and I know I will at some time, I don’t want to put this team at any risk and cost them ballgames right now. I just thought it was the right thing to do for the ballclub and myself. Give myself a chance to get out there and still pitch on a consistent basis. Obviously that’s what I need to do. Getting away from where every pitch could cost us a game.
Costing the team ballgames is exactly what he's done, blowing the save Thursday and Saturday, with the Rays eventually winning both of those games. He seems pretty uncomfortable out there, and who can blame him with that display of inconsistency. While we all cussed at our televisions or radios this weekend, I'm sure many of the same thoughts were going through our minds:
"@#%&! What in the world is wrong with Joe? Does his elbow just not work right anymore? Is it psychological? Did he attempt his comeback from Tommy John too early?" My opinion is that it's a mixture of the three. However, since he claims his arm feels okay, I'm leaning more towards the head case deal. What are your thoughts on the situation?
Mauer news: After losing 12 pounds to a viral infection, Joe's legs are on the mend and he is expected to return in a couple of weeks once he finishes his rehab program in Minnesota. I'd love to hear your opinion on this too: is Joe a total pansy or just a victim of the flu? Is the Twins organization wearing kids gloves when dealing with him or are they just being smart?