When Nationals manager Davey Johnson indicated yesterday that he hasn't been pleased with the bullpen's performance of late, he wasn't kidding. This afternoon, the Nats made a roster move they hope will shore up their relief corps.
Right-hander Drew Storen was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse, where he's been doing well of late. In his past three outings, covering 2 1/3 innings, Storen has struck out four without allowing a hit. In six games with the Chiefs, where he was supposed to work on his mechanics after being sent down July 26, Storen had an 11-to-0 ratio of strikeouts to walks.
That's much better than he'd been doing with the Nationals, where he posted a 5.95 ERA in 47 relief appearances before his demotion. Storen was 3-2 with two saves and 14 holds, but had yielded 51 hits and 13 walks in 42 1/3 innings.
To make room for Storen on the 25-man roster, struggling right-hander Ryan Mattheus was optioned to Syracuse. Mattheus was 0-1 with a 6.26 ERA in 23 games, and had allowed 12 runs in 12 innings over his last 14 appearances since returning from the disabled list.
The Nats probably hope Mattheus' stay at Triple-A can produce similar results, and he's likely to be recalled when rosters expand Sept. 1.