Rafael Soriano making strides, but won’t reclaim closer’s role yet

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Nationals reliever Rafael Soriano has made some mechanical adjustments, which he has put to the test in a couple of low-leverage situations recently. The 34-year-old said of the changes, “Everything is good. I’m feeling good,” per a report from James Wagner of the Washington Post.

Soriano blew his seventh save of the season on September 5 at home against the Phillies, which included a rare Ben Revere home run. Manager Matt Williams demoted Soriano from the closer’s role so that he could focus on 1) standing taller on the mound; 2) keep his front shoulder closed; and 3) staying low in the strike zone. In his latest two appearances, he’s been able to do just that and has had better results, striking out two in the process.

For now, though, the Nationals plan to stick with Drew Storen in the closer’s role. Storen has notched the save in each of his four games since Soriano’s demotion. In four innings, the right-hander has struck out six and allowed two hits while walking none.