Detroit Tigers closer Joe Nathan is done for the season with a torn UCL and tendon, according to Bob Nightingale of USA Today.
Joe Nathan has torn UCL and tendon. Season over #Tigers
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) April 23, 2015
Nathan, 40, attempted to return from an elbow injury and was scheduled to throw 25 pitches in Wednesday’s minor league rehab game until he noticed something wrong after his 10th pitch.
“It feels like I broke my arm,” Nathan said. “I never have broken my arm, but I would assume this is what it feels like.”
“It’s just weird,” Nathan said. “I feel like we’ve done what we needed to do to get to this point. I felt great in the bullpen. Even when I was preparing myself, my forearm would always have what I would call normal bruising and tightness, but it was fine. It never restricted me. And today in the bullpen, it felt even better.”
Nathan would have been eligible to return to the Tigers from the 15-day disabled list Wednesday.
With Nathan sidelined, reliever Joakim Soria was named the team’s closer and has excelled in the role. He’s posted a 1.35 ERA while limiting opponents to a .087 batting average and hasn’t allowed a run to score in seven of eight appearances.
A significant arm injury at this point in his career could signal the end for Nathan and it seems unlikely the Tigers will pick up his $10 million option for 2016.
If this is the end of Nathan’s career, he finishes with 377 saves (seventh all-time) and a 2.89 ERA.