Matt Capps is taking over as the Minnesota Twins closer so Joe Nathan can work on regaining his form in non-save situations as he comes back from elbow surgery.
The change was announced before Sunday’s game against Tampa Bay.
Nathan had blown save opportunities Thursday and Saturday in games eventually won by the Rays. The right-hander missed all of last season after having right elbow ligament replacement surgery, and has been inconsistent this year.
Nathan is 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA in six games. He had converted all three save chances before his last two outings against Tampa Bay.
Nathan went to see manager Ron Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson to discuss the closer role after Saturday night’s 4-3 loss to the Rays.
Capps had a combined 42 saves last year for the Twins and Washington.
15-day DL for Zito
Barry Zito has been placed on the 15-day disabled list by the San Francisco Giants a day after the left-hander hurt his right foot attempting to field a bunt.
X-rays taken Saturday were negative but Zito left the clubhouse on crutches and with a swollen ankle. An MRI exam was scheduled earlier Sunday.
The Giants purchased the contract of right-hander Ryan Vogelsong from Triple-A Fresno to take Zito’s spot.
Zito is 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA in three starts.