Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Storen projects mid-April return

US Presswire photo
Drew Storen will open the season on the DL but expects a quick return.
Though he won't join the rest of his teammates in Chicago this weekend to open the season, Nationals closer Drew Storen expects to be able to rejoin them soon thereafter.

Storen will be placed on the 15-day disabled list this evening with right elbow inflammation, but the move can be back-dated to March 26 because he hasn't appeared in a game since. Thus, he'll be eligible to return as soon as next Tuesday, and he believes he can back in uniform shortly after that date, sometime in mid-April.

"Yeah, that seems about dead-on," he said. "I think that's pretty accurate."

Storen threw off a bullpen mound at Nationals Park this morning, ramping up his effort and throwing a few breaking balls for the first time since he was shut down three weeks ago with elbow discomfort.

The Nationals will decide by the end of the day where Storen goes next, either back to Viera, Fla., to continue his rehab at the club's extended spring training complex, or perhaps to one of the organization's minor-league affiliates to begin a rehab assignment.

How close to game-ready is he after not facing live hitters since March 7?

"I feel like I'm getting there," Storen said. "Every day is a step in the right direction. I think today is really the true test of where I'm at, but I think I'm getting there. It's pretty amazing how every day it gets so much better. Because it's really not a pain thing. It's a strength thing. It was just weak from taking that time off."

With Storen sidelined, manager Davey Johnson plans to use Brad Lidge and Henry Rodriguez as his fill-in closers. Given his vast experience closing games for the Astros and Phillies, Lidge figures to get the first crack at pitching the ninth inning, though Rodriguez dazzled this spring with his combination of velocity and control.

That depth leaves the Nationals confident about their chances entering the season, even if their regular closer won't be with them.

"Obviously it's tough to lose Drew Storen," second baseman Danny Espinosa said. "But we have Brad Lidge, an unbelievable closer, and he's proven it over his entire career."


Cwj said...

Get healthy Drew!
Glad they aren't going to rush him.

Until then, Henry and Brad should hold down the fort very well. I'm not really worried about the 9th inning this year. The Nats bullpen is absolutely loaded with great arms.

jd said...

My predictions for the year:

1) Nats record: 85 - 77.
2) Braves, Phills and Marlins will be right around the same record.One of these teams will break 90 wins but not by much (91?)
3) RZ will have a great year - 7 WAR
4) ID will be fine at SS and leadoff; not all star level but better than average.
5) DE will frustrate fans with many strikeouts but will come close to 20 HRs again and play dazzling 2B; better suited to batting 7th than 2nd.
6) Werth will do better than last year but won't come close to earning his contract.
7) Morse and Ramos will decline a bit from great last years but will still be productive.
8) DeRosa will be tremendous as a super sub; Nady and Tracy will also be useful.
9) JZ will take the next step and will establish himself as a top level no. 2 starter.
10) SS will be occasionally brilliant but due to learning curve and careful handling he won't quite put up the numbers we hope for.
11) If Rio and EJax are both the real deal the Nats have a chance to contend.
12) CMW will have a nice year.
13) Lannan won't finish the year as a Nat.
14) The bullpen has chance to be special with Lidge a big upgrade over Coffey and HRod a big improvement over 2011 HRod.
15) Lidge won't be as great as last year.
16) Harper won't come up in April; he will start slowly in AAA.He may come up in June but September is more likely.
17) Rendon will dominate high A ball and will also do very well at AA playing 3B. He will come up in September and will be one of the hottest commodities on next year's rumor mill.
18) Purke will be the next be Arm produced by the Nats possibly battling for a rotation spot next year.
19) Meyer and Goodwin will take longer to graduate; 2014?
20) I could be totally wrong across the board.

jd said...

No. 15 should read:

Clippard won't be as great as last year.

RPrecupjr said...

Since I haven't seen anyone else with this number, I'm going with 88-74.

If a full year of RZ, JZ, ALR and Ramos PLUS the addition of Stras, Gio, Ejax and eventually Harper can't get us eight more wins than last year.....that's one win per guy mentioned, then something will have to go seriously wrong. I don't see that happening, even with the potential for injuries that every team has to face. Maybe I've had too much Kool-Aid this spring, but I'm a believer.

jd said...


I agree with your premise but I don't agree that last year's team was actually an 80 win team. Too many wins in September where competition was not real representative.

That said; I don't think 88 wins is crazy. I think that our biggest weakness is the lack of potent left handed bats and since I don't think Harper will be a factor this year this is something Rizzo needs to address particularly once ALR is gone and Ramos moves back to 1st. A good left handed center fielder (or switch) sounds pretty good to me and he doesn't have to hit leadoff.

RPrecupjr said...


I see your point about the September wins, but looking at the season as a whole, we had the same record in June, 17-10, when one would have to agree the competition WAS representative. If you take our best month (June or Sept) and our worst month, May, and throw them out, the team was still only 2 games under 500, which would extrapolate over a season to 80-82. I think that makes sense, but seeing that big "2" up at the top of the page when it seems like yesterday when it said 80-something might have me hallucinating ;)

realdealnats said...

JD--agree point for point. And RPrecupjr and many more--basically agree but it is dangerous to weigh things like this in isolation. Others got better around us too. NL East is brutal.

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