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Nats leave it up to Storen; Rizzo on Clippard

Jul 27, 2013, 6:51 PM EDT

Photo by USA Today
Mike Rizzo took some time early Saturday afternoon to discuss sending struggling reliever Drew Storen to the minors. He said the decision to option him to Triple-A was made before Storen even took the mound during Friday’s doubleheader, even as he was battling the flu with a body temperature over 100 degrees. Rizzo now hopes Storen can work through both the confidence issues he may be dealing with, and also alter his mechanics to make his delivery quicker to the plate.
It was a tough decision for the Nationals to make, but Rizzo says it is best for the former first round pick.
“We felt that he was struggling, struggling with his mechanics, with his tempo with his delivery, with his arm slot, and we felt that we would do him better by letting him go down in a less stressful situation, work on his mechanics, get it fixed and get back up here and help us.”
Rizzo spoke with Storen about the move and said the 25-year-old was quite upset.
“He took it hard like a lot of guys that have established themselves in the big leagues take it,” Rizzo said. “I had a long conversation with him today and it was a very good conversation. I explained to him our rationale for it and that he’s a huge part of this organization and he’s going to be for a long time and just need to get him right.”
Rizzo acknowledged the fact bringing in free agent Rafael Soriano may have been the root of Storen’s downfall, but believes it should not have affected him as much as it potentially has.

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  1. SonnyG10 - Jul 27, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    I hope Storen gets a better attitude about being demoted and vows to get his mechanics straight, his head straight, and most importantly, get rid of that stiff leg delivery. Much too slow to the plate. He will never be top notch if he can't hold runners on better.

  2. James Joyce - Jul 27, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Storen has had the striaght leg delivery his entire MLB career, they decided 100 games in that now he should change it?Anyway, Rizzo's just so ham handed. In a week he's bad blow-back from his manager and his best reielver. Him not being able to see why Storen saw the inking of Soriano as a shot across his bow is pretty amazing. I think that Mike needs to get some management training. As his people skills do not seem to keep pace with his baseball knowledge.

  3. Tcostant - Jul 27, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Give Clippard a break, he losing his roommate and best friend & I'm sure he listened to Storen many a night how he was done wrong. Total pass for Clip!

  4. alexva - Jul 27, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    If you don't perform you have to go. He has to work on holding runners and speeding up his delivery and pace. You can't do that on the ML level. I want him bettter and back soon.

  5. alexva - Jul 27, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. James Joyce - Jul 27, 2013 at 7:46 PM

    I don't disagree with them sending the guy down, but the club just needs to do a better job handling its people. No one saw this coming in the clubhouse. Not sure how that can be the case, but it is. I don't see Mike Rizzo making many friends around baseball sicne he became GM, and if you're going to be prickly in this world you had better perform. Mike has spent a lot of money on this club and they are not playing well. He's got 1 year on his contract. Like alexva just said, if you don't perform you have to go. If the losing continues and Ted calls Mike into his office for a late in the day meeting, if I were Mike, I'd be nervous.

  7. Sec. 1D 10T, My Sofa - Jul 27, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    No one saw this coming in the clubhouse. Not sure how that can be the case, but it is. I, too, find that hard to believe. Even if they don't all read the comments here. They all know who's got options left, don't they?

  8. Scott Margenau - Jul 27, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    Nats up 4-0 , harren pitchmen well, sitting at tiki bar in fenwick island, del. surrounded by phillies and o's fansLife is good.

  9. JaneB - Jul 27, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    I agree with James. stores has had that straight leg thing from the start. I am glad Rizzo at least copped to the impact the Soriano signing had.I wouldn't be surprised to see Clip traded.mi hope I am wrong.

  10. SonnyG10 - Jul 27, 2013 at 9:19 PM

    Tcostant said…Give Clippard a break, he losing his roommate and best friend & I'm sure he listened to Storen many a night how he was done wrong. Total pass for Clip!July 27, 2013 3:33 PMTco, they are former roommates. They live in different appartments now.

  11. SonnyG10 - Jul 27, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    JaneB said…I wouldn't be surprised to see Clip traded.mi hope I am wrong.July 27, 2013 4:19 PMI hope you're wrong also Jane. I would be surprised if he's traded. If Storen gets himself together and straighten out his mechanics, I wouldn't be surprised to see him back up fairly quickly. Davey has said as much.

  12. 5c3cd06e-cef8-11e1-abe6-000bcdcb2996 - Jul 27, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Storens's ERA was 6 for christ's sake. The dude just didn't have it this year. How anyone can look at the situation and justifiably think it was a bad idea is beyond me. This was a long time coming. I would love to see the Nat's trade him while he has value.

  13. 5c3cd06e-cef8-11e1-abe6-000bcdcb2996 - Jul 27, 2013 at 11:19 PM

    Storens's ERA was 6 for christ's sake. The dude just didn't have it this year. How anyone can look at the situation and justifiably think it was a bad idea is beyond me. This was a long time coming. I would love to see the Nat's trade him while he has value.

  14. DaveBinMD - Jul 28, 2013 at 12:52 AM

    @SonnyG10: Storen dropped the 'stiff-leg' delivery once, entering the 2011 season, but newly arrived Jayson Werth convinced him to go back to it because as a former opponent, Werth said he and others (presumably on the Phillies) found it distracting to hit against him because of it (though you'd never know it by Werth's results vs. Storen). Storen said: "That kind of feedback is invaluable", and went back to. Agreed though that he can't do it with runners on-base.

  15. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Jul 28, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    I agree with James, JaneB et al. Changing Storen's leg kick at this stage of the game is risky. I think it's more a confidence game with Drew. I personally don't see him coming back with this club. Besides that, his fastball has straightened out and just isn't all that overpowering without that late movement. His slider is a home run ball when it's up over the plate. If he were a car, I'd write: "Totaled."We lost a lot more than a game with that Game 5.

  16. D'Gourds - Jul 28, 2013 at 2:47 AM

    Remember Byun Yun Kim (Sp)? Like Kim, Storen may never recover from game 5. However, that is exactly why Rizzo was justified in signing a proven closer. We were picked to win the WS. Why wouldn't he get a top shelf closer? I'm surprised it took him so long to demote Storen. I'm surprised it took him so long to demote Espinosa! We were contenders. Rizzo waited too long for them to figure it out and it resulted in many lost games. The majors isn't the place for young players to hone their wayward mechanics, be it arm slot, flying open or how to hit left handed. I'm blown away when I read your comments about how Rizzo and Davey didn't give them a chance. The had far too many chances. Go to AAA, fix your mechanics, gain confidence in your fix, and come back up. This is nothing new. You've got to be tough to succeed in the majors. Be a man and stop whining like a baby. Perform and play or fail and get demoted. Make the adjustment and come back up. That simple.

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