As previously reported here, 24-year-old Washington Nationals' reliever Drew Storen made his sixth rehab appearance with Class-A Potomac Tuesday night, throwing a scoreless inning in relief in which he struck out two of the three batters he faced. During Wednesday afternoon's pre-game press conference, Nats' skipper Davey Johnson told reporters the right-handed closer would likely be back in the nation's capital soon. "He was going to throw today out there on the field, throw long and he'll probably be activated soon," Johnson explained, "maybe as early as tomorrow."
In 6.2 IP between Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg, Storen's allowed seven hits, seven runs, six earned and two walks while recording eight K's. Further word on Storen, Johnson said, would be forthcoming, "Tomorrow, after the game."
According to reports from Ken Rosenthal's sources and reporters at Nationals Park this morning a decision has been made. Drew Storen will be returning to the roster and apparently veteran outfielder Rick Ankiel has been designated for assignment to make room for the reliever:
Source: #Nationals designate OF Rick Ankiel for assignment to clear roster spot for RHP Drew Storen.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) July 19, 2012
MASNSports.com's Dan Kolko is in Nationals Park, and though no official announcement has been made, it appears a decision has:
Rick Ankiel's locker has been cleaned out. Nameplate taken down. Looks like he's been DFAd. #Nats— Dan Kolko (@masnKolko) July 19, 2012
Ankiel has been used sparingly in recent weeks. The 33-year-old outfielder has made just six plate appearances so far in July, and he's got a .228/.282/.411 line on the year with 10 doubles and five home runs. In two years with the Nats, the veteran of 10 MLB seasons first as a pitcher then as an outfielder, has put up a .236/.292/.377 line with 30 doubles and 14 HR's.
• Note: As Davey Johnson hinted last night, the Nationals also made a move behind the plate. With catcher Jhonatan Solano dealing with an oblique issue, Sandy Leon is apparently back in Nats Park.