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Drew Storen will probably be returning to a setup role

Jun 24, 2012, 5:22 PM EDT

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Drew Storen saved 43 games alongside a superb 2.75 ERA last season for the Nationals. But the 24-year-old right-hander might no longer bear the title of “closer” when he returns from elbow surgery.

According to Amanda Comack of the Washington Times, Nats manager Davey Johnson told reporters Saturday evening that he’s likely to stick with Tyler Clippard in the team’s ninth-inning role if there are no hiccups between now and Storen’s activation.

Which is something that Storen fully understands.

“I know how baseball is, it’s what have you done for me lately,” the former first-round draft pick told the Times. “And the fact of the matter is I haven’t done anything this year. … It is what it is. It’s part of the business.”

Clippard has converted 12 straight save opportunities and boasts a 1.95 ERA in 32 1/3 innings this season.

  1. js20011041 - Jun 24, 2012 at 5:41 PM

    When are managers going to eliminate the concept of a “closer?” The current usage patterns make absolutely zero sense. Because of the arbitrary save stat and the money that is tied in to accumulating them, we have to watch managers fiddle fuck around with bringing in fringe major leaguers to pitch tight games just because it’s the 7th inning. Meanwhile, they’re saving their best relief pitcher for that crucial situation when it’s a 3 run lead against the bottom of the lineup in the 9th inning. If MLB would just elminiate the save stat, we wouldn’t have to deal with this nonsense.

    • Gonzo - Jun 24, 2012 at 8:01 PM

      Because protecting a ninth inning lead should be left up to any old pitcher in the pen? Let’s see. Who would you trust on the Phils to hold a lead? Papelbon, Schwimmer, bastardo, Qualls, BJ Rosenberg. Shit, I cant even name the others. But I assure you, I would pick Paps every time.

      • Reflex - Jun 24, 2012 at 10:53 PM

        No, it should be left up to the pitcher who best matches up against the guys coming up to bat. Whoever that pitcher is in any given situation should be the ‘closer’ for that game.

      • hittfamily - Jun 25, 2012 at 12:06 AM

        It’s a good thing they have Papelbon pitching for 3 batters every 3 days. What in the world would they do with that 50 million he gets for for 225 IP over the next 4 years.

  2. uclafightfightfight - Jun 24, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    In case you haven’t noticed, baseball players and managers are all about rhythm and routine. When a player has the confidence of the manager and organization and the momentum of prior success in late game situations, it allows them to really get into a rhythm when the game is on, or almost on, the line. There is so much more behind why there are closers. It really isn’t worth explaining to someone who probably just doesn’t know enough about baseball. In any case, it’s understandable why Davey wants to stick with a guy who has been perfect in the ninth inning.

  3. natslady - Jun 25, 2012 at 1:35 AM

    Re: saves. Yes, I admit it would have been nice to see Clip in the 8th pitching to the heart of the O’s lineup. But Burnett’s been excellent–just not perfect.

    The real problem is that in three games in a “hitter’s park” the Nats managed exactly five (count ’em, FIVE) runs in three games. Against Arrieta (ERA 5.55), one measly run in seven innings.

    Harper hit and hustled. Ryan Zimmerman got injected with a painkiller, and hit the RBI single (and another hit, finally defeating the BAPIP gods). Where was everyone else? I’m tired of hearing that it’s still “spring training” for Morse.

    *Camden Yards ==>This is an extreme hitter’s park. For every 100 runs scored in the average park, 111 are scored here. For every 100 home runs hit in the average park, 126 are hit here. This equates to a mean park factor of 118.

  4. yahmule - Jun 25, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    So, Johnson screwed around with lesser talents for weeks before naming Clippard closer and now he’s got a stranglehold on the job? Sounds about par for the convoluted thought processes of the typical Major League manager’s mind.

  5. stlouis1baseball - Jun 25, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    Hoping Storen can make a full recovery. The kid has a great attitude.
    I have been following him since his high school days playing with Lance Lynn.

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