A lot of fans say the closer in baseball is overrated. I'd like to agree, after all, it’s just one player, but I'm not so sure. While I think it's certainly possible to assemble a closer by committee and have success with that, some closers are so dominant they give their team a psychological edge in as much as the last third of the game. The Minnesota Twins lost that psychological edge today when closer Joe Nathan's pitching elbow tightness was revealed by the team to be a “significant tear” to his ulnar collateral ligament. The idea is to rest the arm for now and work on strengthening the muscles, but the thought is the decision will be made to have season ending Tommy John surgery in the next two weeks. The injury situation, so close to the Twins’ beginning play in their new outdoor stadium, has the reliever understandably upset and emotional.
The Twins have a deep bullpen so hopefully the worry is for naught, but this is a tough blow.