Joseph Michael "Joe" Nathan (born November 22, 1974) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball (MLB). Nathan started out his baseball career as a shortstop in high school and while at Stony Brook University, but converted to a pitcher after being drafted by the San Francisco Giants. He worked his way through the minor leagues, alternating between spots in the rotation and the bullpen. After a few years of splitting time between the majors and the minors, Nathan had a breakout season as a setup man for the Giants in 2003. That offseason, Nathan was traded to the Minnesota Twins and became their closer.