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Joe Nathan replaces Matt Capps as Twins’ closer

Jul 16, 2011, 6:08 PM EDT

nathan getty wide Getty Images

Ahh, the great circle of life.

According to LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Twins have reinstated veteran right-hander Joe Nathan into his old familiar ninth inning role and moved Matt Capps back to setup.

Nathan opened the 2011 regular season as Minnesota’s primary closer, but he was still in recovery mode from Tommy John surgery and it showed in his early stat lines. Capps took over, and maintained the role for three months, until the Twins made a change again before Saturday’s game.

Nathan hasn’t allowed an earned run and has yielded just two hits in his past seven relief appearances, dating back to June 28. Capps, meanwhile, blew his seventh save of the season in Friday night’s loss to the Royals.

  1. captainwisdom8888 - Jul 16, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    Add Joe Nathan. Click.

    • JBerardi - Jul 16, 2011 at 7:30 PM

      …And if he’s not available, you know you’re in a real league.

  2. aclassyguyfromaclassytown - Jul 16, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    Between him and Sean Marshall, I’ve added 2 closers to my roster today.

  3. mplsjoe - Jul 17, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    The impact of Capps’ blown saves on the team and the fan base can’t be underestimated. Since the Twins got good again in the early ’00s, they’ve had shut-down closers: Eddie Guardado and then Nathan. We are not used to a guy blowing as many saves as Capps does.

    Also, that Wilson Ramos-for-Capps trade looked bad when they made it and it looks even worse now. We supposedly needed Capps because Jon Rauch wasn’t cutting it. Now Capps is demoted. And guess who the team is looking at as a possible deadline-deal trade:

    The Twins will focus on finding setup men, and one thing they have discussed, at least internally, is bringing back Blue Jays reliever Jon Rauch. The tattooed giant can be surly at times and wasn’t well-liked in the clubhouse, which is a big reason they let him leave as a free agent.

    But there’s no disputing the success he had with the Twins in 2009-2010. He went 8-2 with a 2.82 ERA in 76 games and notched 21 saves before Capps replaced him at closer.

    Rauch, 32, is making $3.5 million this year and has a $3.75 million option for next year with a $250,000 buyout. The Blue Jays are ready to trade from their stable of relievers. Besides Rauch, other available Toronto relievers include Octavio Dotel and Jason Frasor.

    From a Strib story:

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