Sunday, June 24, 2012

Storen OK with setup role

US Presswire photo
Drew Storen has yet to pitch in a game this season.
BALTIMORE -- Drew Storen believes he can close in the big leagues. He did, after all, save 43 games for the Nationals in his first full season in the majors. But if manager Davey Johnson believes the team is best served by keeping Tyler Clippard in the ninth-inning role moving forward, Storen is OK with that.

"It's fine," Storen said this morning. "He's supporting the guys who have gotten this team to where it's at. Tyler's been that guy. He's been that guy for the 2-3 years he's been here. He's supporting him."

Out since mid-March due to a bone spur in his right elbow that required surgery, Storen has nearly completed his rehab program. He headed back to the Nationals' spring training complex in Viera, Fla., today and will throw to live hitters there tomorrow. He'll then rejoin the Nationals in Atlanta on Friday and possibly pitch a simulated game.

Storen remains on target to come off the disabled list right after the All-Star break. He believes there could be some benefit to returning in a setup role.

"I know when I come back, I'm going to be good," he said. "[But] I'm going to need to get my feet wet and I think it will be good for the acclimation of it. In the end, I have all the confidence in the world I can close games. Since day one, since I had surgery, I told myself I was going to come back better. And I believe that wholeheartedly. If people doubt, hopefully I'll prove them wrong. I know I will."

Clippard has successfully converted all 12 save opportunities since ascending to the role last month. He's surrendered only one hit during that span, a level of dominance that prompted Johnson to say Saturday night the right-hander would remain his closer moving forward.

"I know how baseball is," Storen said. "It's what have you done for me lately? And the fact of the matter is, I haven't done anything this year. That's part of the motivation to get back. Because I want to contribute to this team. I felt like I really helped this team out last year, and I really want to be a part of turning this thing around. For me to get back and be a strong contributor in the bullpen, that's what I want to do."


NatsFanJim said...

I've always felt that the Nats had it a little off; that a switch of places was the answer. And Voile: thats what we got now.

Storen will be a perfect set up man to the Perfect closer. It was fine before, but now the 8th and 9th innings will be near perfection.

Kevin Rusch said...

Really, as long as "8th and 9th" means "Storen or Clippard", I'm happy. They're both very, very good at their jobs.

Section 222 said...

Not saying anything. Just sayin'...

MicheleS said...

agree with Kevin.

Positively Half St. said...

There is a knee-jerk reaction I still have trouble getting over. When some of our players start doing well in the same role, I am ready to suggest that the perfect time has come to trade one of them to get top prospects. However, we're beyond that now, aren't we? If we have depth, that really matters now that the playoffs are winking at us and throwing a kiss.

We want to have Storen and Clippard dominating and having other teams coveting having even one of the two (or Burnett, for Pete's sake). It is really comforting to see our team stepping on the throats of their rivals. Like the 90-lb weakling who beefed up for revenge against the guy who kicked sand on him, the Nats need to make the rest of the National League pay.


peric said...

It is interesting that whenever trade rumors surface after the fact Storen's name seems to always have been a big part of it.

They do seem to need to make some deals, most especially if they lose their 1st round pick Giolito due to the draft cap. LaRoche is certainly one that always has seemed to have the highest likelihood and now is the time. Bundling him with Storen might get something the Nats need back? They do have a few pressing needs both in the majors and the minors.

The Retired Journalist said...

Unless Storen can throw that batting practice session indoors at Viera, keep him in DC and have him work out at Nationals Park. I live in Satellite Beach, near the spring training complex, and outside conditions today are expected to be 30mph+ winds with bands of heavy rain moving through. Courtesy of Tropical Storm Debby in the Gulf.

Candide said...

Clippard has successfully converted all 12 save opportunities since ascending to the role last month.

Not going to go all FeelWoody on you, Mark, but is there any way to UN-successfully convert a save opportunity? If you converted the opportunity, you were, by definition, successful.

[/end nit_pick_routine]

Old Wino said...


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