Storen closer to Opening Day roster?

Nationals pitcher Drew Storen recently checked in to give us a little insight on how spring training has gone for him so far. Storen is off to a great start on the mound: 3 games, 3.0 IP, 1 hit, 0 runs, 0 earned runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts, and obviously a 0.00 ERA. Drew talked about the Nats' 0-10 start to spring training, his pitching repertoire and one pitch he has yet to throw in a game, who he likes in the Big Dance and his thoughts on possibly making the opening day roster. Audio: Drew Storen talks with Byron Kerr about his spring training so far
How have the first few weeks been for you? "[I'm] feeling good. I actually feel really comfortable out there on the mound. I am happy with the way it started off and I want to keep it going." Does this first spring training feel different this year for you? I know you started last June. Is it better being around pitching coach Steve McCatty all the time? "It is better being around everybody. You learn a lot from the older guys. It doesn't hurt throwing in front of the defense we have here." So do they have you throwing late innings or in the closer's role most games? "When you are throwing in a spring training schedule you are kind of all over the place in where they use you. I have thrown in the 4th inning, the 6th and the 7th. I have kind of gone all over the map." Does the 0-10 record bother you or are you just concentrating on what you do? "Obviously you want to go out there and win. I just try to make adjustments from outing to outing. I am just trying to get better each time out there." Who do you talk with the most on the pitching staff? "Pretty much all the bullpen guys. I miss having Eddie Guardado around because he was just a big help for the younger guys. Ron Villone, Brian Bruney and Tyler Walker all have helped out." So what do you think it's been like for Stephen Strasburg? "Stephen is doing a good job handing all of it. I can't imagine all the pressure he is under with all the media attention. He is being himself. He is going to get guys out and continue being successful." Young guys, especially Ian Desmond and Justin Maxwell, are making a name for themselves at the plate and in the field. What impact do you think you guys can make on this team? "I think it is going to be a cool combination of young guys like Ian and Justin and then some of the older veterans. Once we get into the groove of things we are going to match-up well." Break down your pitches and how they're feeling. "I have been throwing the two kinds of fastballs: four-seam and two-seam. Both of those have been pretty good. I have been using my two-seam fastball a lot because with big league hitters you have to make sure you have some sort of movement on the ball. "I've thrown my slider and my curveball. Both have been good strikeout pitches for me and I can throw them anywhere in the count. I have a changeup that I haven't thrown yet [in a game]. I work on it a lot in bullpen. That is probably something I will work in here soon." March Madness is upon us. I know Stanford had a down year, but any teams you will be following in the NCAA Tournament? "Purdue and Butler. I played high school basketball with Gordon Hayward from Butler and I will be rooting for him. They play the game the right way. " (Storen and Hayward were guards on the Brownsburg (Indiana) Bulldogs. Side note: Back in 2007, Hayward was listed at 6-2; he is now listed at 6-9 as a sophomore for Butler. Growth spurt!). Are you getting any indication of making the opening day roster or starting in the minors? "No indication of what's going to happen and that's kind of what I want. I want to kind of keep things the way they are. I just go out there and do my thing. If they want to take me with them then that's fine, and if not, well, hopefully I will be up there sometime this year." You haven't heard anything about bringing you up later like the talk about starting Strasburg's free agent clock later so they would have control of your rights for a longer period? "I think it's really going to come down to winning. If they think I can help them win, then I think they will take me with them."

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