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Found this out about a half-hour ago, but couldn't get a blog post up while going through airport security. Anyway, the Nationals are calling up right-handed reliever Drew Storen, the No. 10 pick in the 2009 draft, after today's game against the Rockies, according to a source with knowledge of the situation. Storen will be with the team in St. Louis tomorrow, and should provide late-inning help to a bullpen that continues to have trouble bridging the gap from the Nationals' starting pitchers to setup man Tyler Clippard and closer Matt Capps.
Storen has a 1.08 ERA in 16 2/3 innings in the minors this year. The Stanford product has 15 strikeouts, continuing a strong start to the season after making a case to join the team out of spring training.
He signed the day after the 2009 draft last year and quickly stated his goal was to reach the majors before the end of the season. That didn't happen, but Storen got all the way to Double-A Harrisburg last season and quickly shot up to Triple-A Syracuse after starting at Harrisburg this year.
The Nationals will need to add Storen to their 40-man roster after the game, in addition to adding him to the active roster. Brian Bruney, who struggled again last night and has been erratic most of the season, seems the likely candidate to be replaced.
Jim Riggleman on the decision to call up Drew Storen and designate Brian Bruney for assignment
Storen will likely hit Super Two status with the early promotion, meaning he'll be arbitration-eligible a year early. But if he isn't a closer in his first two years in Washington, the Nationals wouldn't have to pay him the kind of big raise they would owe Stephen Strasburg. And even if Storen does become a top-flight closer before arbitration, the cost to the Nationals could be about half of what they would owe Strasburg because of an early promotion.
I'm about to board a plane for Washington, so I'll have more once I touch down. I'm guessing the Nationals will make the Storen callup official sometime while I'm in the air, but I'll relay the news as soon as I've got a wi-fi connection again.