May 17, 2010, 2:00 AM EST
Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Jim Riggleman will have a new relief option to call upon tomorrow.
DENVER — Mike Rizzo never had a set date in mind for Drew Storen's big-league debut. Rizzo's seen enough pitchers develop over the years, and he knows you don't call them up until they're ready for the challenge.
With Storen, of course, it was never a question of whether he'd be ready for the challenge, just a matter of when. And it's been obvious for several weeks now that the kid is ready.
But there were other factors that went into Rizzo's decision to purchase Storen's contract and fly him to St. Louis to make his major-league debut tomorrow. For one thing, Rizzo wanted to reward the reliever for signing immediately after the draft last summer. It will forever be noted now that Storen reached the majors before Stephen Strasburg, even if only by a couple of weeks. And there's a good chance Storen will attain "Super 2" status because of this move and thus be eligible for arbitration after 2012 instead of 2013. (Either way, he still won't be able to become a free agent until after the 2016 season.)
More than that, though, the timetable for Storen's promotion became clearer because the Nationals genuinely need him right now. You can make a legitimate case that between the two, Storen would actually be more valuable to this team right now than Strasburg. Obviously, Strasburg's arrival in two weeks or so will benefit the club. How could it not? But more than a dominant ace, the Nationals need another reliable reliever.
That much was obvious this weekend at Coors Field, where the Nats dropped three of four to the Rockies, all three losses in tight games decided late. You think Storen's presence might have helped turn atRead more »
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