Jun 23, 2011, 10:32 PM EDT
Jim Hoey, who has surrendered 22 hits and 17 runs in 14 innings of relief this season, was optioned back to Triple-A Rochester to make room.
Nathan returned a bit too quickly this year from Tommy John surgery and posted a 7.63 ERA and 1.70 WHIP in 17 appearances before landing on the disabled list in late May with inflammation in his elbow. He made three rehab appearances with Rochester this week, allowing only two hits and an unearned run while striking out five.
Matt Capps has done a fine job as Minnesota’s closer since Nathan’s early struggles got him removed from the role, and the current setup isn’t likely to change unless Nathan begins mowing batters down with great frequency. For now, the 36-year-old will simply try to get back to basics in setup duty.