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Thursday, April 5, 2012
Joe Nathan might not go more than one inning

By Calvin Watkins

FRISCO, Texas -- The Texas Rangers' 37-year old closer isn't going to be limited in what he does in 2012, but one thing manager Ron Washington doesn't want to do is make Joe Nathan go more than one inning.

Nathan didn't pitch more than one inning last season for Minnesota, his first year back after missing 2010 due to Tommy John surgery. The last time Nathan pitched at least two innings was 2009, when he threw 53 pitches August 21 in a 5-4 win over Kansas City.

Washington said Nathan isn't limited in what he can do because he's fully recovered from surgery.

It's just a personal preference.

"I don't intend on him doing that very often," Washington said regarding going beyond Nathan's one-inning limit. "I don't have a formula on it but I don't plan on him throwing two innings, that's for sure. There may be a time he may have to get me extra outs, but that's not something planned."

Washington said there will be no difference between how he uses Nathan and how he used last season's younger closer, Neftali Feliz. He says the depth of his bullpen as another reason why Nathan should be one-and-done.

"We should have enough guys so he shouldn't have to go two innings," Washington said. "We got Mike Adams, Koji [Uehara], [Alexi] Ogando, [Scott] Feldman. He shouldn't have to go two innings."