Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Storen progressing slower than planned

US Presswire photo
Drew Storen is scheduled to make another rehab appearance tonight for Potomac.
MIAMI -- When Drew Storen set out to begin his rehab stint 12 days ago, the Nationals reliever expressed confidence his time in the minor leagues would be brief.

The Nationals' plan for Storen called for four rehab appearances before he would make his season debut Friday night as the club came out of the All-Star break.

Storen, of course, never appeared in Miami. And when the Nationals open a key, seven-game homestand tonight against the Mets, he'll be 30 miles down the road in Woodbridge, making another rehab stint with Class A Potomac.

This will be the right-hander's sixth minor-league game, and the previous five have featured mixed results. That includes Sunday's appearance at Class AA Harrisburg, when Storen gave up four runs on three hits (including a homer) and a walk in only two-thirds of an inning.

"I think his outing was fine," manager Davey Johnson said yesterday. "I talked to the pitching coach down there, the manager felt like probably one more outing and his command would get a little better, that his breaking ball would be more consistent."

The issue, as Johnson pointed out, has been Storen's command, which has been slow to return following his April surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow.

"I'm not worried about his velocity or the strength of his arm," Johnson said. "I think his arm is in great shape."

The Nationals hope tonight's game at Potomac is Storen's last in the minors. If all goes well, they plan to activate him off the disabled list before Thursday's game.

25 comments:

Tcostant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tcostant said...

I think it is short sighted to bring up Storen before he pitches back-to-back days in the minors. He shouldn't have to do that for the first time in the majors. Moreover, Davey shouldn't have to manage around that. Get enough re-hab in to do that before coming up...

JD said...

Tcostant,

I am not concerned about Storen at all. He has a history of pitching poorly in tune ups and then lights out in the show. If his arm is healthy he'll be fine.

Steady Eddie said...

The core of the situation is that this is Druuu's Spring Training.

NatsLady said...

I'm not worried. Disappointed only that he is a very useful player when up to par. But M. Gonzalez has been better than expected, Mattheus excellent, even Gorzy did his job last night and Henry had a good inning. Between Burnett's elbow and his off-and-on back tightness, there is a worry there, but Sean seems to be managing it for now. The bullpen did not lose any of the four games Storen missed in Miami. Absolutely no reason to rush him.

JD said...

NatsLady,

I agree and I think Rizzo and Davie are too smart to do anything stupid. When he's finally ready to go I think a DL stint for Burnett is not a terrible idea. This way you push out the ultimate roster decision by a couple of weeks.

sjm308 said...

Agree with not rushing Storen, but am wondering why JD would put Burnett on the DL? Even though he complained about tightness, he has still been lights out and I am guessing they are treating it with a little more concern now that he has verbalized it. It always amazes me how tight-lipped players are about their injuries.

Another reality is that every single one of these guys wakes up with pain in some part of his body or another. I don't think for a minute that Zimmerman is totally pain free in his shoulder and we will see that underarm toss the remainder of the season. Have to admit that he can still sling it with that motion.

Going tonight with a new hat on that hopefully will start us on another nice win streak.

Go Nats!!

Doc said...

Yeah, I agree NatsLady and others...wad's the hurry. Let Tinkerbell take his time on the DL and get his sh** together.

As with his 2009 draft buddy, I'd like to think that Storen has a long career ahead of him!

It's not like the Nats are desperate for 'Pen support right now!

Theophilus T. S. said...

Storen's return is reminiscent of Marquis's return from similar surgery, which ain't good. Let him take as long as necessary to get "command" back.

NatsLady said...

Doc, I'd like to think that on Storen, but I doubt it. The record for power-relievers is not good. I expect even with the best care he will flame out in a couple of years. Then he will finish his degree and become Clip's agent--for a lot of years...

JD said...

sjm,

There is a difference between normal aches and pains each player works through and a reported sore elbow.

Burnett has been great but he has had at least 2 uncharacteristic bad outings recently. One against Baltimore and a real bad one against Colorado right before the break.

I am not pointing this out as a criticism but rather as a thought that if the poor outings were injury related a 2 week rest when Storen returns is not a terrible idea.

This will also bring us to the trade deadline where some moves may clear the logjam in the pen. I would hate to send an effective Mattheus or Stammen to AAA just because they have options.

sjm308 said...

JD - thanks and a good explanation - I do think, with the way Gonzalez has thrown that we could give Burnett those few weeks off and not miss much but I always think that rest sometimes throws a pitcher off just as much, if not more. They are creatures of habit and routine. Its the same reason we are not giving Strasburg extra days or going to a 6 man rotation. Its also why Storen is probably struggling just a bit right now as well. It will be Davey/Rizzo making that move and we just have to trust in them.

Go Nats!

SonnyG10 said...

Don't want to give up a servicable reliever for Storen unless he's totally ready.

sm13 said...

No need to rush Drew back - the bullpen is just fine. As with Stras, it is better to make the decision that protects his long-term health. Drew will be our closer for years to come and we need to protect that elbow.

natsfan1a said...

Also agreed re. not rushing to get back.

peric said...

Gonzalez is a lefty and will be hard to give up. At this point I would guess they have one or more relievers who have some injuries that they are "dealing with" as Natslady put it. For example, It might be a good idea to give Burnett a rest to recover a bit and let Gonzalez do the LOOGY thing for a bit. It'll all work out.

Meanwhile, these are two key series, 3 against the Mets and 4 against the Braves and then into a patch with mostly Eastern Division opponents in August.

Tcostant said...

Sonny made my point, Storen is not "servicable" until he knows (and the Nationals know) that he can go back-to-back games. Once you come up, you expect business as usual.

BigCat said...

Does anyone know what they are clocking him at?

BigCat said...

Days past we would just bring him up and throw him in the fire. Not now though, we are in a pennant race. Wow...still can't believe it

Mr. Doggett said...

He basically lost the closer's job due to his injury. I know Clipp is his friend and all, but he must want to get back as badly as anyone ever. There certainly are more save opps now that we are winning and Drew has got to be getting antsy. Wonder how that might factor into what he actually reveals about how he is feeling. He certainly isn't going to restrain himself...he will want to rush.

NatsFanSinceStart said...

SM13: err No. Storen will be our 8th inning setup man for a long time -- if we're smart, Clippard is our closer for many years to come. No competition really. And if you want to compare numbers, it's all Clippard.

Since Storen is getting Rocked at AA, he simply isnt ready to bring up. As to who should go: easy - HRod has got to go. Enough with this experiment. He is all that he is - let's move him.

sm13 said...

I'd lile to see the Clip-Storen closer competition play out. The ungodly change up versus the killer slider. I think Drew will win out over the long haul, but as a Nats fan I can't really lose.

peric said...

Mission accomplished:)

So, what about Nate Karns dude ... how is he doing? The guy I was pretty big on that disappeared after he was drafted.

I keep picking 'em right and you keep falling on your face ... :)

Sec.3, My Sofa said...

Karns, the one in A for the past 2 seasons? I hear he's still there. Pitching OK, apparently.

JD said...

Peric,

Karns is still a long shot because he's almost 25 and in A ball. Having said that I like the 11 to 3 K to BB ratio and I would love to give him the Saturday start if there was a way to maneuver the roster.

And stop already with the 'I told you so'. It's what 5 year olds do.

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