Your soundtrack for this afternoon's pitstop is Ong Ong, which is one of the tracks off of Blur's new record The Magic Whip. The record comes out next week.
Joe Nathan has torn UCL and tendon. Season over #Tigers— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) April 23, 2015
I don't think there's anything else to say other than "Uffda." Nathan, at 40, had become a source of frustration for Tigers fans, but from 2004 through 2013 he was arguably the best closer in baseball. While he claims to be planning a comeback after missing all of 2015, at this point in his career it's hard to take that vow as seriously as one might if Nathan were 30 or even 35.
If you go to the books, Nathan is the active leader in games finished (17th all time). He's also the active leader in career saves, with 377. That's good enough to make him seventh all-time, just 13 saves behind Dennis Eckersley but well ahead of Jeff Reardon, Troy Percival, and Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers.
"I am preparing myself to be a major league player again," Nathan said. "That is my goal."— anthony fenech (@anthonyfenech) April 23, 2015
In Twins history, Nathan's 260 saves are six more than Rick Aguilera for first all-time. If he does come back and finds a way to close for another year or two he could have a decent Hall of Fame case, but whether that happens or not he deserves to be inducted into Minnesota's Hall of Fame. He'd join Aguilera and Eddie Guardad as one of three relievers on that list.
According to this report filed by Mike Berardino, the Twins attempted to woo Jason Fraser before the Royals got involved and brought him back following Fraser's arrival for the stretch run in Kansas City last summer. It's a short but good read. Fraser thinks Target Field is a Top 5 ballpark in baseball, but he's not a fan of pitching there.
Fraser, even at 37, is posting some pretty good numbers and presumably would have been the veteran right-hander added to the bullpen in lieu of Tim Stauffer. He's been tough on Minnesota over the years. In 147 plate appearances the Twins have hit just .211/.276/.353 off of him.
The longtime organizational catcher has been traded to the Mets for cash considerations. As a 14th-round pick by the Twins back in 2007, this was his eighth season in the organization and no doubt the Twins wanted to do what they could to put him in the best position to have a path to the big leagues. In 502 games and 1,843 plate appearances Rohlfing has hit just .243/.319/.327, but he's always been the epitome of class and we wish him well.
With Travis d'Arnaud on the disabled list with a fractured finger, the Mets' Major League catchers are Kevin Plawecki and Anthony Recker. Johnny Monell and Nelfi Zapata have also caught games for New York's Triple-A affiliate, the Las Vegas 51s, but neither of them are on the 40-man roster. It will be interesting to see where Rohlfing fits on their depth chart.
Also from Berardino's report: Nolasco will be making at least two rehab starts between this weekend and sometime next week. With his return not imminent until early May, Trevor May and Mike Pelfrey may have just one start each in which to make their case to keep their spot in the rotation. Getting experience for a young pitcher like May will be critical for his development towards a rotation regular over the next five-plus years, but the Twins also have a record of catering to veterans. Then again, one more good start from Pelfrey could convince another team to take him off of Minnesota's hands for the proverbial PTBNL.
1924 Washington Senators
FanGraphs Community Research had a really fun entry on the Senators the other day. Essentially, Derek Bain looks at all rosters from 1901 through the present and places all players with their original teams (the example he gives is that Frank Robinson is therefore with the Reds and that Jeff Bagwell would be with the Red Sox) and then calculates revised standings while discussing the team's performance.
It turns out the '24 Senators were incredible. The real-life team went 92-62 and won the World Series; the "original" team looks even better. Walter Johnson, Firpo Marberry, Sam Rice, Goose Goslin, Joe Judge, and Ossie Bluege are all there. The biggest changes come in the lineup, where Charlie Johnson (CF/LF), Eddie Ainsmith (C), and Howie Shanks (SS) replace their real-life counterparts: Nemo Leibold, Muddy Ruel, and Roger Peckinpaugh respectively.
The Senators weren't always good. But they had a lot of great players (Johnson is the gold standard of pitching; his numbers look videogame-esque in today's game) and a few really good teams. The Senators appeared in three World Series between 1924 and 1933, winning the championship in '24.
- I was on KATE1450am again earlier this week to talk Twins with Jim Sannes on The Blitz. It was a long chat this time around but there was a lot to cover, from Torii Hunter's legacy to Trevor May's performance to the dismal state of the outfield defense and much more. You can listen to it here.
- This has been popular today, thanks to a referencing comment in a game thread over at Over the Monster. Another Stu classic.