A look at the top closers in franchise history

December 16, 2009 – A successful team needs to have a top notch closer, a pitcher that can come in and slam the door on the opposition game after game. In the past, closers were expected to pitch more than one inning but in today’s game most closers pitch only in the ninth inning. The Twins have been blessed over the years with some very good closers and a strong case could be made that their current closer Joe Nathan, is the best of the bunch. Assuming nothing bad happens to Nathan, he should be expected to break the Twins all time saves record now held by Rick Aguilera early in 2010.

Update – Turns out that something did happen and Joe Nathan had TJ surgery and missed all of 2010 and came back in 2011 to take over the Twins career saves lead before leaving as a free agent after the 2011 season. Table has been updated to show the updated numbers.

Just as an interesting tidbit, In looking at the Twins top ten closers in terms of saves, only two were left-handed, the same hold true for the Washington Senators/Nationals who also had only two southpaws in their top 11 save leaders.

Twins Saves Leaders

Joe Nathan

Joe Nathan

Name R/L Years pitched Saves K/BB
1 Joe Nathan R 2004-2011 260 4.19
2 Rick Aguilera R 1989-1999 254 3.27
3 Eddie Guardado L 1993-2003, 2008 116 2.26
4 Ron Davis R 1982-1986 108 1.89
5 Jeff Reardon R 1987-1989 104 3.36
6 Al Worthington R 1964-1969 88 2.15
7 Ron Perranoski L 1968-1971 76 1.27
8 Mike Marshall R 1978-1980 54 1.55
9 Bill Campbell R 1973-1976 51 1.76
10 LaTroy Hawkins R 1995-2003 44 1.83

Senators Saves Leaders

Firpo Marberry

Firpo Marberry

Name R/L Years pitched Saves K/BB
1 Firpo Marberry R 1923-1932, 1936 96 n/a
2 Walter Johnson R 1907-1927 34 n/a
3 Tex Clevenger R 1957-1960 29 1.29
4 Garland Braxton L 1927-1930 28 n/a
5 Jack Russell R 1933-1936 26 n/a
6 Dick Hyde R 1955-1960 23 1.04
7 Tom Ferrick R 1947-1948, 1951-1952 22 n/a
8 Mickey Harris L 1949-1952 19 n/a
9 Allan Russell R 1923-1925 19 n/a
10 Pete Appleton R 1936-1939, 1945 17 n/a
11 Jim Shaw R 1913-1921 17 n/a
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