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
|3||Eddie Guardado||L||1993-2003, 2008||116||2.26|
Senators Saves Leaders
|1||Firpo Marberry||R||1923-1932, 1936||96||n/a|
|7||Tom Ferrick||R||1947-1948, 1951-1952||22||n/a|
|10||Pete Appleton||R||1936-1939, 1945||17||n/a|