For the Washington Nationals, the regular season could not come fast enough as key players continue to suffer injuries. Today, the latest Washington National to have surgery is closer Drew Storen. Storen had surgery to remove a hook in the hamate bone of his left hand. Storen joins Jayson Werth and Denard Span as players who have had some form of surgery over the last month and a half.
However, according to manager Matt Williams, this injury should not prevent the team’s closer from missing the opener on April 6 against the New York Mets:
"#Nats Manager Matt Williams said Storen will be down 2-3 days & then get right back to his throwing program. Expected ready for Opening Day."
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) March 13, 2015
Even though Storen is not expected to miss any regular season games, this is exactly the reason why the organization went out and signed Casey Janssen this winter to a one-year, five million contract. It allows Washington to have a player at the back end of the bullpen with closer experience who could fill in should Storen miss a significant amount of time.
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This spring, the 27-year old right-hander has only appeared in one game. That was on Wednesday afternoon against the Detroit Tigers. In that outing, he went one inning, gave up one earned run on two hits and did not record any strikeouts or walks.
There still has to be some concern with this injury because with only one game of spring training, how rusty will Storen be when the regular season begins?
The reliever that was taken with the tenth pick in the 2009 MLB Draft is coming off a season in which he had a 1.12 ERA in 65 games, had 11 saves and had 46 strikeouts to 11 walks.
The one stat that stood out about Storen’s season last year came in the second half when he took over for a struggling Rafael Soriano. In 11 appearances, he had a 1.03 ERA and had 11 saves out of 12 opportunities. While Storen is well known for his postseason failures in 2012 and 2014, this is a pitcher that Washington truly believes that he can do well in the closer role in 2015.
As I said earlier, I am sure Matt Williams is hoping the season comes very quick considering all the injuries that have happened to the team this spring. Earlier today, William Ladson of MLB.com tweeted that third baseman Anthony Rendon has a mild MCL sprain in his left knee and will be out a few days:
While Storen is expected to be ready to close on Opening Day for the Nationals, this is still yet another injury to monitor for the next few weeks of spring training in addition to Werth, Span, and Rendon.