Storen breaks thumb, likely out for season

Storen breaks thumb, likely out for season

MIAMI -- Nationals reliever Drew Storen will likely miss the remainder of the season after breaking his right thumb following Wednesday's 5-3 loss to the Mets at Nationals Park. Storen allowed one earned run in two-thirds of an inning during the outing, and then suffered the injury while slamming his locker shut out of frustration.

Manager Matt Williams said prior to Saturday night's contest in Miami that the setup man left the team to see a hand doctor in Baltimore. He added that Storen tried throwing before Friday's contest to no success, which triggered a pregame X-ray that showed a non-displaced fracture on the tip of his right thumb.

"He's regretful that it happened and a little bit embarrassed about it, of course," Williams said. "He's a competitor and he's frustrated and he made a mistake."

Storen is 2-2 with a 3.44 ERA for the season and struggled after being removed from the closer's role when the team acquired Jonathan Papelbon at the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. In his past 15 outings, he's 0-2 with a 9.22 ERA (14 earned runs in 13 2/3 innings).

Prior to Wednesday's appearance, the righty also saw action in Tuesday's loss to the Mets, allowing one earned run on one hit and three walks in one-third of an inning.

"That's part of baseball and it's how you deal with it moving forward," Williams said. "This is a situation for him to regroup and get ready for the next time he pitches."

Moving forward for the Nationals -- who entered Saturday 8 1/2 games out of first place in the National League East -- Williams said the eighth inning role previously occupied by Storen will be filled by a committee of relievers.

"We have guys that have experience in that regard," Williams said. "Casey Janssen has experience, Matt Thornton's got experience -- they're both former closers and guys that have been there and are able to do it.

"Last night showed how effective Blake Treinen [two-thirds of a scoreless inning] and Felipe Rivero [1 2/3 scoreless innings] can be. So we'll see what happens. But it'll depend on workload and who's available and how we match up against the other team."

Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.