The Nationals are not expected to activate Drew Storen right out of the gate in the second half. He is close to a return, but Nationals pitching coach Steve McCatty and pitching coordinator Spin Williams want to give Storen more time to rebuild his arm strength before he returns to the majors. Storen has made three rehab appearances with Class A Potomac.
Storen has been out all season after undergoing surgery in April to remove bone chips from his elbow. Manager Davey Johnson plans to ease Storen, who saved 43 games last year, back into the bullpen and keep Tyler Clippard as the closer for the time being. As the season progresses, the closer issue will play itself out based on the performance and workload of both relievers.
As for starting pitchers, the Nationals will use the rotation Johnson outlined as the likeliest option before the end of the first half: Jordan Zimmermann, Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, Edwin Jackson and Ross Detwiler.
Chien-Ming Wang will make a rehab appearance Friday at Class AA Harrisburg. Wang is recovering from a strained hip, which the Nationals believe may be the cause of his inconsistent delivery issues. Wang has a 7.61 ERA and 14 walks in 23 2/3 innings this season.
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