Sep 27, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Drew Storen (22) throws during the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Heartbreakers: Drew Storen
Drew Storen makes my list of players to watch in 2015, but, unfortunately, it’s for a much different reason than the previous three. In the case of Harper, Rendon, and Taylor, the reason to watch was for what great things they might accomplish. For Storen, watching is more about concern, and hoping that he doesn’t do what he’s done before.
That’s a question that may not be answered until well beyond the start of the season. After all, Storen was fantastic in the regular season before. He saved 43 games in 2011, and he replaced Rafael Soriano admirably late last year.
October’s been a different story. Twice in the NLDS, Storen has stepped on the mound with a lead, and twice he’s failed to measure up to the immensity of the moment. Drew Storen just seems to be that sort of player: the one set on breaking your heart.
And that’s exactly why Nationals fans (myself included) really need to watch Storen, as painful and anxiety-inducing as it might be. It’s true that Casey Janssen will be an option, waiting in the wings should he be needed to take over the ninth.
That really isn’t what I want to see, though. I want to watch Storen because I want to know what he’s made of. It has to be figured out whether or not this guy, the source of so much angst in DC, really possesses the ability, the mentality, the intestinal fortitude required of a late-game postseason pitcher. I just hope that if he isn’t, the Nats aren’t finding out via another late inning collapse.
Next: Heartbreakers: Jayson Werth