A pair of Washington Nationals moved another step closer to returning from the disabled list, as Drew Storen and Chad Tracy both began their respective rehab assignments within the past 24 hours. Both players could return as early as Washington’s July 13th game at Miami, the opener to the team’s second half after the All Star Break.
Storen’s recovery has been progressing as expected up to this point and he is scheduled to start his rehab assignment today, according to Mark Zuckerman. Storen is scheduled to make four appearances, pitching every other day. He’s been out since Spring Training with bone spurs in his right elbow which left the Nationals to cope with a revolving door of closers until Tyler Clippard grabbed hold of the role and has since run with it, relegating Storen to setup duty once he returns.
Tracy’s first game appearance came last night with Class-A Potomac. He went 0 for 3 on the game, adding a sacrifice fly and a walk. From what Zuckerman had to report, Tracy’s at bats were “productive ones” and he was working the count well, forcing the pitcher to throw 10 pitches to earn that walk. His recovery has been encouraging thus far considering that when he went down in mid-May with a torn groin muscle there was some belief that he might be lost for the season altogether. Tracy had been a valuable bat off the bench early on for the Nationals, leading the team with 9 pinch-hit RBI before suffering the injury.