The early part of Spring Training, the Washington Nationals' 24-year-old closer Drew Storen explained in an early February MLB Network Radio interview, is when you, "... start working on stuff," like building on the progress he made last year in terms of his, "... command and really trying to manipulate the baseball a little bit more and concentrate on movement and letting the velocity kind of take care of itself," or the changeup the veteran of two MLB seasons added late last year at the end of a 2011 campaign in which he was (6-3) with 43 saves, a 2.75 ERA, 3.32 FIP, 20 walks (2.39 BB/9) and 74 K's (8.84 K/9) in 73 appearances and 75.1 IP. "Towards the end [of Spring Training]," Storen continued, "is when you start making that transition to saying, 'O.K., you've got to go back to your old self,' then maybe you have these new tools in the bag that you can use, but I still can't veer away from what made me successful last year, cause there's no point in reinventing the wheel."
That was back on February 8th, a week before pitchers and catchers reported. Since then, Storen's thrown just two innings in Grapefruit League action. A recent "bout with strep throat" sidelined the right-hander, but according to a report by MLB.com's Bill Ladson, in an yesterday article entitled, "Storen OK after strep throat, pitching soreness", Storen, (who hadn't pitched competitively since a scoreless inning of work in which he allowed a walk and a hit in a March 7th game against St. Louis), returned and threw (or more accurately, 'played catch,') on Wednesday. Reports today, however, said that Storen had once again experienced discomfort in his bicep/tricep when he did throw again.
Washington Times' writer Amanda Comak, in an article Thursday afternoon entitled, "Drew Storen goes for further testing, plus other injury updates", wrote that the Nationals were planning on taking it easy with Storen early this Spring after "... his heavy workload in 2011 but after some initial soreness in his biceps and triceps in the early weeks of the spring, they decided to give him a bit more rest." The bout with strep throat just extended the period of inactivity, apparently, and after he threw on Wednesday and again experienced discomfort, the Nationals sent the '09 1st Round pick for additional testing.
Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore reported tonight (via the Twitter @AdamKilgoreWP) that there was at least some good news for the Nats on the injury front. "After his tests today," the WaPost writer wrote, "Drew Storen should be fine. The team and Storen just needed to make sure." Before the team and their closer had the results, Nats' skipper Davey Johnson told reporters this morning, as reported by MASNSports.com's Dan Kolko in an article entitled, "Storen has more discomfort, Nady to get minor league action", that the Nationals would proceed cautiously this Spring. "With him," Johnson said, "I want to make sure he's 100 percent healthy and he doesn't do too much, because he's going to be my closer.'"