Storen on cusp of returning to Nats' bullpen

Storen on cusp of returning to Nats' bullpen

WASHINGTON -- Nationals reliever Drew Storen, who has not thrown a pitch in the Major Leagues this season after undergoing April surgery to remove a bone chip from his right elbow, will be activated from the disabled list "soon," possibly as early as Thursday.

Storen made another rehab appearance with Class A Potomac on Tuesday night, logging one perfect inning while striking out two.

Storen was expected to throw long toss before Wednesday's game against the Mets, and manager Davey Johnson said "he'll probably be activated soon, maybe as early as tomorrow."

Storen made a total of six Minor League appearances, and was much more pleased with his performance this week after an ugly outing on Sunday with Double-A Harrisburg. The right-hander said he made some mechanical adjustments, and felt much more in control of his pitches.

"I just didn't try to throw hard," Storen said. "I just let it be more natural and try to pitch a little bit. I was happy with my command, and really happy with my movement and everything on it."

It's unclear what type of role Storen will hold when he returns to a bullpen that has been fantastic this year, even in his absence. He logged 43 saves last season, but Tyler Clippard has excelled in his place since late May.

Storen also has not thrown on back-to-back days, but doesn't expect that to be an issue when he rejoins the big league club.

"In Spring Training the last couple years, I haven't [thrown on back-to-back days]," Storen said. "It's just one of those things -- adrenaline takes over. I feel physically strong enough to do it."