Joe Nathan Embodies Several Ashford & Simpson Songs

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nathan.jpgSolid and Happy Endings are the ones that come to mind.

While I cringed a little bit at the metaphor, Jim Souhan's column about Joe Nathan being a high yield stock got Darren and I diving into his career numbers. The results weren't unexpected, but still impressive. They also serve as a palate cleanser for the Gagne post. Put your numbers hat on.

Nathan is one of 6 relievers (Hoffman, Rivera, Isringhausen, F. Cordero and F. Rodriguez) to record 150 saves since 2004, the year he became a Twin. As Souhan mentions, Nathan has converted 171 of of 185 save attempts in that time. At 92.4 percent, that's the highest conversion percentage of anyone in baseball.

He walks batters at a 2.39 clip per 9 innings, while striking out 11.24. In 2006 he gave up a ridiculous 5 hits per 9 innings. Last year it ballooned to 6.7. He's also benefited from good defense behind him, with 62 of his 64 allowed runs being earned.

Before the 2006 season Baseball Prospectus had this to say about Nathan (link only avaliable to subscribers):

"There`s something vaguely disappointing about a great closer who is simply a great closer. It`s a Tom Henke sort of thing, where greatness goes unobserved due to the lack of a signature. Perhaps distracting facial hair would help; `90s style goatees aren`t like Goose`s Fu Manchu or Rollie Fingers` waxed mustachios, they`re just lazy. Until he gets a fashion consultant, Nathan will settle for mercilessly blowing away opponents with high 90s heat and a criminally nasty power slider."

I disagree. Now I've got nothing against mustaches, but Tom Henke was even more badass because he looked like a science teacher. Beyond Papelbon's FAS + ADHD routine, who really has a gimmick anymore? On a list of recent memorable closers, Rivera's gimmick has been "playing in New York." Billy Wagner's has been "playing in Philly and New York." Gagne's has been "playing in LA and sucking in Boston." Joe Nathan plays for a team that almost got contracted. That seems to be the only real setback on his path to stardom, and it's no fault of his own.


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13 Comments

Billy Wagner's gimmick is "sucking under pressure".

Nathan Saves!!!!

That's all I have to say about that.

My gimmick is being awesome.

K-Rod's gimmick is having a terribly stupid nickname that makes me think "who?" for a split second every time I read the name Francisco Rodriguez.

Frankie Rodriguez's gimmick is wearing glasses and hanging out with the rally monkey.

"Joe Nathan plays for a team that almost got contracted."

He also plays for a team that's in first place in their division and is going to kick some Red Sox ass this weekend... After of course kicking some White Sox ass again this week.

Still makes me sick that the Giants traded him (and Bonser, and Liriano) for Pierzynski. Gah!

Huston Street's gimmick is mispronouncing his name.

Brad Lidge's gimmick is not giving up any runs EVER.

Maybe Joe should, oh, I dunno, bang a 15-year-old country singer wannabe?

@ Pimp Daver4470: America's Got Talent! Pitcher's Edition

@ bc twins fan

You are an insufferable homer.

@jiegel

Thanks... I think

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