Karabell's Blog: Poor Joe Nathan

Updated: June 15, 2006, 10:43 PM ET
By Eric Karabell | ESPN Fantasy Games
Not all closers are created equal, we know that, but there's only so much a relief pitcher can do. Basically, in order to get a save, the guy needs a save opportunity. Is Ambiorix Burgos really better than Joe Nathan? Good luck finding someone who believes that. But who has more saves? Ah...

Fantasy owners generally care about the saves only, and are willing to overlook some of the other factors, like whether the pitcher is actually any good. Who's the worst pitcher in baseball? Let's say, for example, the suddenly closer-less Devil Rays decide to trade for Jose Lima and make him the closer. You'd add him. We all would! Everyone needs saves!

And that's the rub: When the Twins' Nathan accrues seven saves in 11 weeks, his owners are angry. Doesn't matter than Nathan is 4-0 with a 1.88 ERA, four walks against 33 strikeouts, the fact is he's not getting what more perceive to be "enough" saves. His team isn't all that good, nor awful, but they win last night 8-1, the night before it's a walkoff grand slam, like that happens every day. Just bad luck for Nathan.

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Eric Karabell | email

ESPN.com Senior Writer

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