Injured Nationals closer Drew Storen threw live batting practice prior to Friday’s game for the first time since his elbow surgery in early April. He threw for about 10 minutes at about “80-85 percent effort”, according to Davey Johnson (per Rich Dubroff at CSNwashington.com).
Storen has been out since a bone spur was found in his right elbow and he underwent surgery April 11th. He’s expected to return just after the All Star Break and he appears on track for that timetable.
Adding Storen will be a good boost for the bullpen just prior to the July trade deadline. It’s always been assumed that he’d step back into the closer’s role immediately, begging the question of how the team handles moving Tyler Clippard back into a setup role. Clippard has long wanted an opportunity at the closer’s role and has thrived since being given the opportunity, going 12 for 12 in save opportunities (including last night’s game at Baltimore).
But after last night’s game the questions began being asked of Johnson about that very decision. According to Tweets from Amanda Comak and Adam Kilgore, Johnson intends on keeping Clippard in the closer’s role if he keeps pitching the way he has been. Storen will return in a setup role “until he shows me up here first”.