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Closer Report: Minnesota Twins

MARCH 9: The news that Nathan may need Tommy John surgery knocks him off draft boards for now.  Guerrier, Rauch, and Mijares remain my favorites to replace him (in that order), with Pat Neshek and Jesse Crain two other names we can't rule out.  If manager Ron Gardenhire tips his hand or the Twins add a proven closer, we'll be sure to update the situation on our Twitter account CloserNews.

MARCH 3: Twins closer Joe Nathan is still among the very best in the business.  He's going in the seventh round, and the 40 saves, 2.50 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, and 75 Ks are worth it.

Nathan is 35, and he had offseason surgery to remove bone chips in his elbow.  He doesn't seem to be off-track because of it, but it's important to know your backup options.

Matt Guerrier is one possibility, though he struck out only 5.5 per nine in '09.  Jose Mijares hasn't been around as long, but he does throw a bit harder and whiffed a more appropriate 8.0 per nine.  However, he's left-handed.  The Twins also have Jon Rauch, who came on strong in his 15.6 innings for them and has closing experience.  Guerrier wins out in terms of Baseball Prospectus' leverage stat, though the other two were close.  If I had to pick one, it'd be Guerrier.

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