DENVER -- Drew Storen is about to join the Nationals' roster.
The rookie reliever will have his contract purchased from Class AAA Syracuse and is expected to join the big-league club tomorrow in St. Louis, according to a source within the organization.
Storen has dominated at four different levels of the minor leagues since the Nationals made him the 10th overall pick in last summer's draft and has posted a 1.23 ERA in six appearances at Syracuse over the last two weeks. In 40 total minor-league games over the last 12 months, he's 2-1 with a 1.70 ERA, 15 saves and a 64-to-11 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The 22-year-old right-hander should provide an immediate boost to a Nationals bullpen that has gotten yeoman's work since Opening Day from closer Matt Capps (0.93 ERA, 14-for-14 in save opportunities) and setup man Tyler Clippard (7-1, 1.80 ERA) but has struggled to identify another quality arm for setup duties.
Storen's promotion will come about two weeks before fellow first-round pick Stephen Strasburg's expected big-league debut, in part because club officials wanted to reward the reliever for signing immediately after the draft. Strasburg didn't sign his record $15.1 million contract until two minutes before the August 18 deadline.
The Nationals will need to remove someone from the roster to make room for Storen. Right-hander Brian Bruney, who owns a 7.64 ERA and has put 41 men on bases in 17 2/3 innings, is a strong candidate to be designated for assignment.