If you looked at the MLB depth charts before the season started, you would have thought that Drew Storen had been tabbed as the Nationals’ closer. Not so fast.
Twice this week, the Nationals used Tyler Clippard in the seventh, followed by Storen in the eighth and the ninth inning, and the corresponding save, went to Sean Burnett. But, manager Jim Riggleman said today that he hadn’t decided anything yet. Riggleman has indicated that he would continue to use either Burnett or Storen based on matchups in the final inning; Burnett is a lefty and Storen is right-handed. Eventually, the Nationals would like to have a set pattern for the final three innings, but for now, it looks like a closer by committee situation in Washington.
All three relievers have been very good this season. Clippard and Burnett have not yielded a run in a combined 10 innings and Storen has an ERA of 1.93. While Storen certainly has the most upside potential as the closer, so far this season, Burnett has saved both of the Nationals opportunities.