Closer Drew Storen throwing off the mound three times a week, tells Tyler Clippard to work on his celebrations

(Jonathan Newton/WASHINGTON POST)

“Feeling really good,” he said. “My command is good and my mechanics are still there. I’m pretty happy with where I’m at.”

Three times a week, he’s thrown of the mound up to about 70 percent effort level. He will do the same this week but with a little more effort, he said. He is also throwing long toss everyday. On Friday, he threw about 30 pitches in a session in Florida.

“I haven’t had any pain,” he said. “It feels like it’s getting stronger. There has been legitimate improvement. The last bullpen I threw was probably the best I felt.”

Originally after surgery in early April, Storen’s timetable had him ambitiously returning around the all-star break in early July. “But if things had not moved as well as they have, it would have been later,” he said.

Storen has discussed his options with team officials and he said he would like to be around the team as he continues to rehab.

“Now that I’m not early in my throwing program and kind of on my own with just bullpens and stuff, I feel like I’d like to be around the team more,” he said. “But as much as I love the Florida heat, I think I’d rather be up here.”

Asked if has been trash talking with Tyler Clippard, his close friend, roommate and the team’s current closer, Storen joked that he hadn’t.

“I’m letting him have fun,” he said. “It’s fun to watch him. I’m glad he got the opportunity. So it’s really fun to watch. He’s got the mentality down. I told him he needs to work on his celebrations a little bit.”

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James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010 and, prior to covering the Nationals, covered high school sports across the region.


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