Storen overlooked; Lannan pitching Saturday

Right-hander Drew Storen is considered one of the top prospects in the Nationals organization, but he has been overshadowed by his teammate, right-hander Stephen Strasburg, this spring.  

That’s OK, said Storen, because Strasburg deserves the publicity after what he has accomplished in the last year. Strasburg went 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA in 15 starts at San Diego State University en route to being named the 2009 Golden Spikes Award winner. He struck out 195 and issued just 19 walks in 109 innings.

“I love it. I think it’s awesome. He 100 percent deserves the publicity,” said Storen, who was also a first round pick. “I’m just taking a back seat to it all. The Nationals haven’t received all this attention in the last couple of years. I think Stephen is going to be a big help. I don’t deserve the same attention. I’m not as good as he is.”

But good enough. Storen had a great first season in professional baseball, saving a combined 11 games with a 1.95 ERA for Class A Hagerstown and Potomac and Double-A Harrisburg.  It earned Storen a Spring Training invitation, but it’s more than likely that Storen will start the season in the Minor Leagues. Storen understands the team doesn’t want to rush him to the big leagues.

“I’m looking at the big picture,” Storen said. “I want to be a guy that helps this team win. I don’t want to be there for a cup of coffee. In the end, I want to have a career in the big leagues.”

*Storen has been going through the windup during live batting practice sessions in order to give the hitters a different look. This unusual because relievers go through the stretch when they are pitching in the late innings. Storen started doing the windup by watching Diamondbacks pitcher Dan Haren.

“I watched how Haren has that pause,” Storen said “Obviously, timing is big for hitters and [look to] can change their timing up and always keep them uncomfortable. If I can do that with my stuff and my motion, that is going to help me out.”              

* Catcher Jesus Flores will throw from 90 feet the next couple days. If all goes well, Flores hopes to start taking batting practice later in the week.

* Left-hander John Lannan will pitch against the Mets on Saturday at Space Coast Stadium, while right-hander Jason Marquis will throw against the same team the next day at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie.

* Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, the television home of the Nationals, will televise Strasburg’s first spring training appearance on March 9th at 1 p.m.ET on MASN and MASN HD from Space Coast Stadium.

Strasburg is expected to pitch two innings for the Washington, but MASN will televise the entire game.

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