As first reported by Bill Ladson of MLB.com, Nationals closer Drew Storen underwent minor surgery Wednesday on his throwing elbow.
The procedure, performed in D.C., was designed to remove bone fragments and was deemed a success.
The Nationals aren’t saying for certain how long Storen will be out, but sources told Ladson on Wednesday evening that the team is confident he’ll be back in the major leagues sometime before the All-Star break. Henry Rodriguez and Brad Lidge are expected to continue handling ninth-inning duties for the time being.
Storen, 24, registered a sparkling 2.75 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 73 appearances last season, saving 43 games in 48 opportunities while fanning 74 batters across 75 1/3 innings. He’ll certainly be missed.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo suffered what appeared to be an awful injury during Sunday’s game against the Pirates, twisting his ankle while attempting to field a bunt. An MRI revealed that he has a lateral sprain of his right ankle, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Rizzo will wear a walking boot for five to seven days before being reevaluated.
Given that there are only two weeks left in the regular season, it seems doubtful Rizzo would be able to return to aid the Cubs’ NL Wild Card chase. The club entered Monday leading the second Wild Card by a game over the Brewers.
Rizzo, 30, is batting .289/.404/.516 with 26 home runs, 93 RBI, and 88 runs scored in 592 plate appearances on the year. Victor Caratini started at first base for Monday’s game against the Reds. The Cubs may also use Ian Happ, Willson Contreras, and Jonathan Lucroy at first base while Rizzo is out.