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Drew Storen ready to face hitters following elbow surgery

Jun 21, 2012, 8:29 PM EDT

Drew Storen AP

The last time we checked in on Drew Storen, he just resumed throwing off a mound following April surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow. Now he’s ready to take the next step.

According to Dan Kolko of MASNSports.com, Storen is scheduled to throw live batting practice tomorrow for the first time since surgery. He’ll start out by throwing all fastballs. The 24-year-old right-hander threw his slider off the mound for the first time yesterday and estimates that he’s currently throwing at about 85-90 percent.

“I’m still making progress every day and I’m having no pain,” Storen said. “I’m starting to get the feeling that I felt before I got hurt, so I’m really happy with where I’m at, but it’s still a day-by-day process.”

Storen still has a few hurdles to cross, including a minor league rehab assignment, but the Nationals are hopeful that he’ll be ready to return around the All-Star break. Brad Lidge and Henry Rodriguez were each given chances to close games in Storen’s absence, but Tyler Clippard has emerged as a dominant closer recently, going 10-for-10 in save chances. The 27-year-old right-hander has logged 13 1/3 scoreless innings dating back to May 16.

  1. jjschiller - Jun 21, 2012 at 11:26 PM

    Check his hat, Davy Johnson… I think he’s doctored that ball.

    • dchillin - Jun 22, 2012 at 10:30 AM

      Your a wierd wuss

    • natstowngreg - Jun 22, 2012 at 1:26 PM

      So you’re alleging that Storen uses pine tar to keep the ball there? Nonsense. I’m sure it took many hours of practice in the bullpen to get the bill of his cap just right, and master the technique of balancing the baseball. After all, it’s not like he had much else to do in the bullpen.

  2. kkolchak - Jun 22, 2012 at 7:43 AM

    How scary is the Nats already dominant bullpen going to be when Storen gets back? They pitched 10.2 innings in three games against the Rays and their collective stats were 0 R, 2 H, 8 K, 4 BB, 0.00 ERA, 0.588 WHIP.

    • natstowngreg - Jun 22, 2012 at 1:23 PM

      But the guys between the starter and Burnett/Clippard almost blew it last night, walking the bases loaded before Ryan Mattheus finished the 7th. They were also bad against the Yankees, and allowed the Red Sox to get back into 2 of the Nats’ 3 wins at Fenway.

      Storen’s return moves Clippard back to his role as dominant 8th-inning guy, and Craig Stammen and Mattheus back to the 7th (or earlier, if needed). It also relieves Davey of the temptation to use Henry Rodriguez (when he returns) in important situations. The bullpen will look more like what it was supposed to be (except for Brad Lidge, who failed).

      • kkolchak - Jun 22, 2012 at 1:43 PM

        “Almost” only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades and A-bombs. Bottom line is they got ‘er done. Storen/Clippard/Burnett gives them a back end trio to compare with the best in baseball, Gorzo is a solid long reliever and Stammen and Mattheus are decent middle relievers. When the guy who throws 100 MPH is your 7th option, your bullpen is in mighty fine shape.

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