Joe Nathan‘s Detroit Tigers career hasn’t started out all that smoothly, as the team’s new veteran closer has surrendered two runs, along with three hits and two walks, in his first two outings of the season. Monday on Mad Dog Sports Radio’s Schein on Sports, Nathan explained to Adam Schein that the reason for his early-season struggles is a case of dead arm.
“For me, fortunately, I think that the club has overcome me not throwing as well as I’d like to,” Nathan said. “I think I’m still at a case of maybe some dead arm going right now. And usually that happens in the middle or later part of spring, and hopefully you get through it. But mine is going more into the season. And I’m still fine-tuning things, but fortunately, it hasn’t hurt us too much, and my tougher outings have still resulted in wins for us.”
Nathan then explained to Schein how pitchers get past dead arm.
“You just gotta keep throwing,” Nathan said. “Unfortunately, there’s no secret to getting through it quicker. It’s just one of those things that will hit guys throughout the course of the year, and you never know when it’s gonna be or how long it’s gonna last. But all you can do is continue to throw and throw through it, and hopefully one day you come there and the ball’s coming out of your hands a lot cleaner and with a little more zip on it.
Nathan said he’s not panicking despite the arm issues.
“First and foremost is location,” Nathan said. “No matter how hard it’s coming out, you better still be able to locate because the one thing people find out quickly, it doesn’t matter how hard you throw. If you don’t locate it, guys can hit it in this league. So the first thing I’m concerned with out there is making sure I’m hitting the spots I want to. As far as velo, that’s never been a huge factor for me anyway. I’ not a guy that’s gonna blow the doors off of somebody anyway, so it’s more about location and just mixing pitches up and keeping guys guessing.”
Nathan’s Tigers take on the Los Angeles Dodgers Wednesday at 10:10 pm ET. Listen to play-by-play of the broadcast on XM channel 178 and Sirius channel 213.
Schein on Sports, hosted by Adam Schein, airs weekdays at 12 pm ET on Mad Dog Sports Radio, channel 86.