Tigers’ Dave Dombrowski standing by Brad Ausmus’ decision at closer

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Isn’t this why the Tigers acquired Joakim Soria in the first place?

In late July, the Tigers parted with two prime prospects so they could land the Rangers’ closer – who would, everyone figured, provide dandy insurance should Joe Nathan implode again.

Yet manager Brad Ausmus said late Tuesday night, after another Nathan meltdown, that he was sticking with his closer.

And on Wednesday, general manager Dave Dombrowski stood by his manager, even though it was Dombrowski who had to part with Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson so they could get Soria – who, since, has thrown only 7.1 innings for Detroit. Granted, he was hurt for a while.

Asked if Ausmus has total authority to choose who closes games, Dombrowski told The Detroit News: “He is the manager and is responsible for game decisions.”

Asked if Dombrowski felt Soria should be getting some more closing opportunities, like he did Monday night, the GM said only, “That is a topic you should discuss with the manager.”

Nathan, 39, after signing a two-year, $20-million deal with Detroit, has the worst ERA of his career (5.10), and has blown seven save chances – which is more than the last two years combined. And while Nathan has 32 saves, he’s almost always a pitch or two from big-time trouble.

Consider this: His WHIP, or walks and hits allowed per inning, is an astronomical 1.573. For comparison, Jose Valverde, who was basically run out of town in 2012 and again in 2013, had WHIPs of 1.246 and 1.241 those two seasons.

Soria, 30, was lights-out for the Rangers this year, and was viewed as the best reliever available ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. He’s struggled with Detroit, and landed on the DL with an oblique issue.