Washington Nationals Concerned for Closer Drew Storen as He Suffers Setback

Michael NargiSenior Analyst IApril 9, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 13:  Drew Storen #22 of the Washington Nationals against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 13, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

The Washington Nationals have one of the best bullpens in the National League, despite beginning the season with closer Drew Storen on the disabled list. The Nats might have to get through more of the season than they expected without the help of Storen.

Adam Kilgore tweeted that "Drew Storen will visit Dr. James Andrews after feeling tenderness in his elbow during a sim game. Nats fear bone chip."

Washington will await Dr. Andrews' diagnosis of Storen to see if their fear of a bone chip is confirmed. Past experience suggests that surgery to remove a bone chip could sideline Storen for half of the season. In 2010, Jason Marquis had a bone chip removed on May 14 and returned to the majors on August 8.

Storen was looking at a mid- or late-April return before this tenderness. The Nationals will have to rely more heavily on Henry Rodriguez and Brad Lidge, should Storen be forced to miss more time than expected.

Storen was invaluable last season for the Nationals, racking up 43 saves and striking out 74 batters in 75.1 innings. Rodriguez and Lidge have started strong for the Nats after both men had great springs. The Nationals will hope that their success continues in the time that Storen is absent.

The Nationals should find out the fate of their closer on Tuesday.