Drew Storen: Washington Nationals Closer Targets Mid-April Return to Bullpen

Michael Nargi@NargOnSportsSenior Analyst IApril 3, 2012

PHILADELPHIA - SEPTEMBER 20: Relief pitcher Drew Storen #22 of the Washington Nationals throws a pitch during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on September 20, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Nationals won 4-3. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
Hunter Martin/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals look like they have one of the most dominating bullpens in the league. Their bullpen will go a long way in determining the fate of the National League East in 2012. 

Washington will start the year without stud closer Drew Storen, as he begins the season on the disabled list. Storen continues to make strides to recover from pain in his elbow due to inflammation. Storen also told reporters that he was aiming for a return to the Nationals in mid-April.

On Tuesday, Dan Kolko of MASNsports.com tweeted:

Drew Storen just threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session. Says he really let it go for 1st time and felt no pain. Targeting mid-April return

This is great news for the Nats, as they get ready to begin the regular season. The Nationals bullpen looks to be one of the best in the NL East this season, but they will need Storen to be healthy to achieve greatness.

While Storen is rehabbing, flamethrower Henry Rodriguez and veteran Brad Lidge will split the closing duties. They are both having tremendous springs and have the capability to take care of business until Storen returns.

The setup role will continue to be dominated by All-Star Tyler Clippard.

When Storen returns, the four men in the bullpen will have the potential to allow Nats starters to comfortably take the last few innings off.