The 2013 season to this point has been one to forget for Nationals reliever Drew Storen, but he now has a chance to change things up down the stretch. He has been recalled from Triple-A, the club announced Thursday.
Storen, 26, was an excellent pitcher before this season. In 2012, he had a 2.37 ERA and 0.99 WHIP once returning from injury. The year ended, however, with Storen blowing Game 5 of the NLDS against the Cardinals, allowing four earned runs in his inning of work and turning a trip to the NLCS into a trip home for the winter.
And since then, he has had issues. Before being demoted to the minors, Storen had a 5.95 ERA and 1.51 WHIP. His strikeout rate was a career best, but otherwise his numbers were awful. In his first three outings for Triple-A Syracuse, Storen wasn't any better, coughing up four earned runs on seven hits in four innings. His last three times out, however, he has been perfect -- seven batters faced, seven outs recorded -- and struck out four.
The Nationals have won five straight and are 8½ games out of the second wild card. They need a huge hot streak to salvage a disappointing season. They also need another arm at the back end of the bullpen to make sure Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano don't get overworked. Viewed through this lens, Storen is a very important player.