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Storen Picking Up Speed

Drew Storen was happy to get his first save of the Arizona Fall League under his belt Wednesday night in Mesa, although the inning started with a double that just dropped into shallow left field. Storen got the next three batters on a strike and two popups.

"It was fun to just get out there and pitch again," he said. "If you throw up a zero and get a save in this league there's no complaints. Faced some good hitters, thought I was throwing hard. I'm working on getting quicker to the plate out of the stretch. I was able to apply some things I worked on in instructs [instructional league].

Paul Menhart, who coached Storen this summer during his stint at Class A Potomac, said that each of the four Nats pitchers have a to-do list for the AFL. Storen's is his speed.

"With Storen it's making sure he can control the running game," Menhart said. "He's a little slow right now, we're going to try to speed him up while maintaining his stuff."

Before Wednesday's game, Storen played catch in warm-ups with fellow pitcher Stephen Strasburg. It became clear as the game went along that each was trying to show the other some blazing speed. Strasburg was standing along the left field warning track and Storen kept backing further and further until he was practically at the right-center field wall.

"That's always our style playing catch," Storen said. "He kept blowing me up because I am not used to catching a guy that throws that hard. It turned into kind of a fastball contest."

Storen is an extrovert who never met a stranger. Strasburg is much more of an introvert. But despite their different personalities, they clearly enjoy each other's company.

"I love playing catch with him," Storen said, laughing. "He breaks in my glove and leaves bruises on my hand."

Storen's a card, and here's some good news: He'll start doing a blog for very soon. If you follow him on Twitter, you know he'll do a fun blog.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  October 16, 2009; 12:30 PM ET
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Next: Espinosa Working on Cutting Strikeouts


Let's hope Storen has more success on the mound than the last Nats pitcher who became a blogger. You remember him, that Bally-star guy. No star he turned out to be!

Posted by: FromTheEclipseThePlaceThatBobCarpenterCallsHome | October 16, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the posts and column, Tracee. You're gonna spoil us. Will be on the lookout for Storen's blog as well.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 16, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"With Storen it's making sure he can control the running game," Menhart said. "He's a little slow right now, we're going to try to speed him up while maintaining his stuff."

Reference is to speeding up his wind-up to the plate, not the speed of his pitches? My guess.

Posted by: joemktg1 | October 16, 2009 1:09 PM | Report abuse

And another new post. Tracee is dealing.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 16, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

I think he's referring to the time that Storen takes between pitches.

Posted by: CluelessNatsFan | October 16, 2009 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Nope. I am wrong. I reread it. Yeah its the delivery time when men are on. Sorry about that. Darn that moniker being so apt.

Posted by: CluelessNatsFan | October 16, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

These catchers all have rocket arms and quick releases... when runners steal successfully at that level it's usually due to the pitcher's delivery. Storen's working on cutting down the time it takes from the instant he lifts his front foot (in the stretch) til the ball gets to the plate.

The challenge is to maintain his control and command of his pitches along the way. Not a trivial thing...

Posted by: outsider6 | October 16, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Does Spinman post here? I wonder what's going on with Bally. I haven't seen any updates yet!

I haven't read it but its got to be better than Screech's blog! LOL

Posted by: CALSGR8 | October 17, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

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