The Twins signed Matt Capps last July knowing that Joe Nathan wouldn’t be 100% ready this year. That proved to be the case this weekend. Let’s just say this: Nathan wasn’t quite ready to be the full-time closer.
Capps and Nathan were supposed to be the dynamic duo at the back of the bullpen. After Nathan had three great appearances, he faltered in his past two save opportunities. This past 4-game series against Tampa Bay, Nathan had two save situations, blowing them both. Nathan hinted after Saturday’s game that he wasn’t pleased with his performance after Johnny Damon hit the game-winning single. So far, Nathan has a 8.44 ERA with three saves.
As a result, Nathan approached Manager Ron Gardenhire after Saturday’s disappointing outing and removed himself from the closer’s role. Nathan, after having Tommy John surgery a year ago, didn’t want his performances to cost his team crucial wins. By doing that, Nathan showed a lot of leadership; he knew that he was blowing wins for the Twins.
So for now Capps will be the closer until Nathan finds his right stuff. In the April 17 game, Capps faced four batters and earned his first save of the season. That’s a hopeful sign.
Written by: Michael L. Sack