Drew Storen breezes through first minor league rehab game


Out since undergoing spring training surgery to remove a bone chip from his elbow, Drew Storen began a minor-league rehab assignment last night at Single-A.

Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that Storen tossed a scoreless inning and needed just eight pitches to get three outs. It was such a brief outing that Storen actually went back to the bullpen afterward and threw more pitches.

He’s slated to make at least three more appearances in the minors before potentially returning to the Nationals, although with Tyler Clippard thriving as Washington’s closer Storen will have to settle for being a setup man after saving 43 games last season.

Video: Braden Halladay pays homage to Roy Halladay in spring game

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While newly-acquired talent Danny Espinosa was off collecting hits for the Blue Jays against the Orioles, Marcus Stroman led a youth-filled roster against the Canadian Junior National Team in a split-squad game on Saturday. In the eighth inning, 17-year-old Canadian pitcher Braden Halladay took the mound to honor his late father’s memory against his former team.

Halladay accomplished just that, wielding a fastball that topped out in the low-80s and setting down a perfect 1-2-3 inning against the top of the lineup. No one batter saw more than a single pitch from the right-hander: Mc Gregory Contreras and Mattingly Romanin flew out to the outfield corners and Bo Bichette laid down a ground ball for an easy third out.

MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm has a fantastic profile of the high school junior, including his approach to the game and his attempt to do Roy Halladay proud while carving out his own path to the majors. “From a pitching standpoint, it was everything I could have asked for and more,” Halladay told reporters. “Especially now, every time I make mistakes, I still hear him drilling me about them in my head, just because he’s done it so many times before. From a mind-set standpoint, I don’t think with any bias that I could have had a better teacher.”