Drew Storen will make another minor league rehab appearance in Class A Potomac, and this time, Manager Davey Johnson said, Nationals coaches are hoping the reliever works on his command.
Storen, out all season after an April surgery to remove a bone chip from his right elbow, has pitched in five minor league games. He has allowed six earned runs on sevens hits. But it’s not his statistics that will dictate when he is ready to return. How he has performed and how he is feeling will determine it.
Johnson said Storen’s arm strength is fine. His command, however, has been off and his release points have been inconsistent, Johnson said. This could be his final rehab appearance before he rejoins the Nationals.
“Our pitching staff is in pretty good shape so there’s no need to rush somebody but he’s real close,” he said. “. . . Storen has always had good command . . . and his breaking ball has been a little inconsistent, so sometimes it can be inconsistent if the arm strength is not there and sometimes because you’re trying to overthrow.”
• Outfielder Jayson Werth, who has been out since early May with a broken left wrist, is progressing well and could be cleared to begin baseball activities on Wednesday pending doctor approval, Johnson said. He is still two to three weeks away, and targeting a return for the first week in August.
• Right-handed starter Chien-Ming Wang said his right hip isn’t hurting anymore and is scheduled to make another minor league rehab start on Wednesday. He last pitched for Class AA Harrisburg on Friday, allowing two earned runs on seven hits over four innings. The Nationals felt the hip discomfort was preventing Wang from getting his arm where he needed it, so he could get his hand on top of the ball to get his trademark sink on it.
“Mechanics-wise, right now, I feel pretty good,” Wang said through an interpreter. “I can get more on top of the ball.”
• Infielder Chad Tracy, who has been recovering from groin surgery, reported feeling better. He hasn’t played since a July 6 game in Potomac when he felt discomfort running out of the batter’s box. Tracy has been pushing through rehab ahead of schedule, which may have contributed to his setback before the all-star break.
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