Results tagged ‘ Joe Nathan ’

Twins decline Nathan’s option

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins declined closer Joe Nathan’s $12.5 million club option for the 2012 season, the club announced today.

The Twins will instead exercise a $2 million buyout on Nathan’s option, which makes the veteran right-hander a free agent.

Minnesota, though, can still retain Nathan by signing him to a new deal, and general manager Bill Smith said the Twins are interesting in bringing back Nathan.

“I spoke with Joe and his agent this morning, and expressed our interest in re-signing Joe,” Smith said. “We will remain in contact with them as we move forward into the free agent process”

Nathan, who turns 37 next month, posted a 4.84 ERA with 13 saves in 48 appearances totaling 44 2/3 innings last season. He pitched much better after a stint on the disabled list that began in late May after suffering a setback related to the Tommy John surgery that kept him out of action in 2010.

After making his return on June 25, Nathan posted a 3.38 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 11 walks in 31 appearances over 29 1/3 innings while converting 11 of 12 save opportunities.

The 11-year veteran is the Twins’ all-time save leader with 260 saves in seven seasons in Minnesota. He picked up save No. 255 on Aug. 10 to become the franchise’s all-time save leader, passing Rick Aguilera, who the set the previous record with 254 saves from 1989-98.

WAR leaders at halfway point (Game 82 vs Brewers)

MINNEAPOLIS — After last night’s heartbreaking loss to the Brewers in which the Twins blew a seven-run lead — tied for the fourth-worst blown lead in franchise history — the Twins are at the halfway point of the season.

It’s safe to say it’s been a disappointing year for the Twins, who are just 35-46 and enter today trailing the Indians by nine games in the American League Central.

But today was also a positive day for Michael Cuddyer, who was named to the All-Star Game for the first time in his 11-year career.

Cuddyer was certainly a deserving All-Star for his impressive play in the first-half of the season, and his versatility only helped his case. But with that in mind, here’s a look at the leaders for the Twins in Wins Above Replacement (WAR) through 81 games courtesy of FanGraphs.com:

Position players:

1. Denard Span, 2.6
2. Michael Cuddyer, 1.6
3. Jason Kubel, 1.0
4. Alexi Casilla, 0.7
5. Ben Revere, 0.6
6. Jim Thome, 0.5
7. Delmon Young, 0.3
8. Danny Valencia, 0.3
9. Luke Hughes, 0.2

Pitchers:

1. Scott Baker, 2.0
2. Carl Pavano, 1.5
3. Brian Duensing, 1.4
4. Glen Perkins, 0.9
5. Francisco Liriano, 0.8
6. Nick Blackburn, 0.6
7. Alex Burnett, 0.2
8. Anthony Swarzak, 0.1
9. Chuck James, 0.1

Notes: I only included players with positive WARs, so the list didn’t include players such as Joe Mauer (-0.2), Justin Morneau (-0.3), Joe Nathan (-0.3) or Tsuyoshi Nishioka (-0.6). So it really is pretty amazing that Mauer, Morneau and Nathan — with 12 All-Star appearances among them — combined to produce a -0.8 WAR so far this year.

Lineups for the 1:10 p.m. CT start at Target Field:

Brewers (45-39)

1. Rickie Weeks, DH
2. Nyjer Morgan, CF
3. Corey Hart, RF
4. Prince Fielder, 1B
5. Mat Gamel, 3B
6. Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
7. Mark Kotsay, LF
8. Jonathan Lucroy, C
9. Craig Counsell, 2B

RHP Zack Greinke (7-3, 5.68 ERA, 2.72 FIP, 6.67 K/BB)

Twins (35-46)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Jim Thome, DH
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Rene Tosoni, LF
8. Luke Hughes, 1B
9. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS

RHP Nick Blackburn (6-6, 3.64 ERA, 4.50 FIP, 1.86 K/BB)

Roster moves coming (Game 73 vs. Giants)

SAN FRANCISCO — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire confirmed right-hander Joe Nathan and designated hitter Jim Thome will be activated in time for Friday’s game in Milwaukee, and the club will make two moves to make for them on the 25-man roster after today’s game against the Giants.

Gardenhire said the club will option both a reliever and a catcher to make room for Nathan and Thome on the roster, as the club is currently carrying two backup catchers — Rene Rivera and Drew Butera — behind Joe Mauer. He said the decision between Rivera and Butera was a tough one, but offered no hints on which catcher will be headed to Triple-A Rochester other than the fact that Rivera was in the starting lineup on Thursday.

My best guess is that the club decides to keep Rivera on the roster, while optioning right-hander Jim Hoey to Rochester. But we’ll see.

Here are the lineups for today’s 2:45 p.m. CT start at AT&T Park:

Twins (32-40)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Michael Cuddyer, RF
4. Delmon Young, LF
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Luke Hughes, 1B
7. Rene Rivera, C
8. Matt Tolbert, SS
9. Brian Duensing, LHP (4-6, 4.82 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 2.12 K/BB)

Giants (40-34)

1. Aaron Rowand, CF
2. Bill Hall, 2B
3. Aubrey Huff, 1B
4. Cody Ross, RF
5. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
6. Pat Burrell, LF
7. Miguel Tejada, SS
8. Chris Stewart, C
9. Tim Lincecum, RHP (5-6, 3.39 ERA, 3.02 FIP, 2.81 K/BB)

Thome, Nathan to return Friday (Game 72 vs. Giants)

SAN FRANCISCO — Twins trainer Rick McWane said today that both designated hitter Jim Thome and closer Joe Nathan will rejoin the club on Friday in Milwaukee.

Thome had five at-bats in a simulated game and won’t need to play in a Minor League before returning to action. He’ll serve as a pinch-hitter against the Brewers before returning to his regular role as DH when the Twins return to Target Field on Monday to host the Dodgers.

Nathan, meanwhile, tossed a scoreless inning with Triple-A Rochester last night, and is scheduled to throw another inning in relief tonight before being activated from the disabled list on Friday.

I’ll have more info on the return of both players in today’s Twins Notebook.

But here are the lineups for both clubs for tonight’s 9:15 p.m. CT start at AT&T Park:

Twins (32-39)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Michael Cuddyer, RF
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Luke Hughes, 1B
8. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, SS
9. Nick Blackburn, RHP (6-4, 3.16 ERA, 4.50 FIP, 1.96 K/BB)

Giants (39-34)

1. Aaron Rowand, CF
2. Emmanuel Burriss, 2B
3. Pablo Sandoval, 3B
4. Aubrey Huff, 1B
5. Cody Ross, LF
6. Nate Schierholtz, RF
7. Brandon Crawford, SS
8. Eli Whiteside, C
9. Ryan Vogelsong, RHP (4-1, 1.92 ERA, 2.93 FIP, 3.00 K/BB)

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