The Washington Nationals were very busy on Thursday, as they recalled relief pitcher Drew Storen from Syracuse and sent another struggling pitcher, Ryan Mattheus, down to AAA. After yesterday’s meltdown by closer Rafael Soriano, who blew a save and the Nationals’ five game winning streak, a healthy Storen is needed.
Prior to yesterday’s game, he told the media that his time in Syracuse helped him clear his head and gain some focus.
He also talked about his mechanics that were a bit off, and the reason he was sent down. He talked about his leg kick, and how it allows him to be a better pitcher.
“The thing I like about my leg kick is it automatically gets my arm up,” Storen said. “It just happens. I felt like I had to worry about getting on top of the baseball. I don’t have to do that when I have my leg kick. I just went back to what I did. That’s why I was able to do it quick. It wasn’t too crazy. It was going back to how I pitched for 20 years.”
The Nationals need the Storen that saved 43 games in one season; at 25, he has his best times ahead of him.
Meanwhile, general manager Mike Rizzo signed 16-year-old third baseman Anderson Franco for $900,000. The young star from the Dominican Republic was ranked by Baseball America as the 29th best international prospect in this season’s crop of talent.
Most of the Nationals international scouts feel that Franco, 6-foot-1, 185-lb., has impressive power, a strong arm and steady defensive abilities. It also marks the return of Washington getting back into the international players pool with a big time signing.
Rant Sports columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @wordmandc