Storen called up, joins Nats in St. Louis

Storen called up, joins Nats in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS -- When he woke up around 8 a.m. on Monday in St. Louis, one of the first thoughts Nationals rookie relief pitcher Drew Storen had was, "Where am I?"

It was announced on Sunday that Storen, the 10th overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, would be called up and meet the Nationals in St. Louis while reliever Brian Bruney was designated for assignment. So Storen traveled from Providence to St. Louis on Sunday and woke up in the Gateway City ready for his first experience as a Major Leaguer.

When he arrived at Busch Stadium nearly five hours before Monday night's first pitch, the 22-year-old right-hander saw his No. 58 jersey -- the same number he wore in Spring Training -- waiting for him.

"I probably sat and stared at my locker for five minutes," he said.

Storen grew up in Brownsburg, Ind., only about five hours from St. Louis, and had been to the old Busch Stadium with his father when he was younger.

"My dad is coming out with my aunt and uncle," he said. "It's a five-hour drive. For me this is a great place for this to happen. It is close. It's where my dad and I used to come to games. It's pretty cool to be back."

Storen didn't spend too much time in his two Minor League stops this season. Pitching for Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse, he posted a combined four saves and a 1.11 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings.

The rookie right-hander didn't know when he would take the mound for the first time with the Nationals, but said he would be ready. Manager Jim Riggleman said before Monday's game there was no plan for when Storen would make his Major League debut.

"I'd like to get him in," he said. "I'm really not anxious to put him in a tie game late, but if that develops, that's what we'll have to do. In a perfect world the score would be a little wider-spread when he can get his first game under his belt and get the butterflies out. But I think he's got a confident nature about him that, regardless of the situation, I think there may be a pitch or two where he's got a lot of things going on in his head but after that I think he'll settle down and pitch effectively."