Storen called up, joins Nats in St. Louis
Riggleman not nervous about when to use pitching prospect
ST. LOUIS -- When he woke up around 8 a.m. on Monday in St. Louis, one of the first thoughts Nationals rookie relief pitcher Drew Storen had was, "Where am I?"
It was announced on Sunday that Storen, the 10th overall pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, would be called up and meet the Nationals in St. Louis while reliever Brian Bruney was designated for assignment. So Storen traveled from Providence to St. Louis on Sunday and woke up in the Gateway City ready for his first experience as a Major Leaguer.
When he arrived at Busch Stadium nearly five hours before Monday night's first pitch, the 22-year-old right-hander saw his No. 58 jersey -- the same number he wore in Spring Training -- waiting for him.
"I probably sat and stared at my locker for five minutes," he said.
Storen grew up in Brownsburg, Ind., only about five hours from St. Louis, and had been to the old Busch Stadium with his father when he was younger.
"My dad is coming out with my aunt and uncle," he said. "It's a five-hour drive. For me this is a great place for this to happen. It is close. It's where my dad and I used to come to games. It's pretty cool to be back."
Storen didn't spend too much time in his two Minor League stops this season. Pitching for Double-A Harrisburg and Triple-A Syracuse, he posted a combined four saves and a 1.11 ERA with 15 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings.
The rookie right-hander didn't know when he would take the mound for the first time with the Nationals, but said he would be ready. Manager Jim Riggleman said before Monday's game there was no plan for when Storen would make his Major League debut.
"I'd like to get him in," he said. "I'm really not anxious to put him in a tie game late, but if that develops, that's what we'll have to do. In a perfect world the score would be a little wider-spread when he can get his first game under his belt and get the butterflies out. But I think he's got a confident nature about him that, regardless of the situation, I think there may be a pitch or two where he's got a lot of things going on in his head but after that I think he'll settle down and pitch effectively."
Dunn remains sidelined by flu symptoms
ST. LOUIS -- Nationals manager Jim Riggleman had first baseman Adam Dunn in the lineup for Monday's game against the Cardinals, but later scratched the slugger for the second consecutive game with flu-like symptoms.
"Pretty much like yesterday, Adam was available to pinch-hit and we hope that's the case today," Riggleman said. "He's not right yet. We're going to keep him out of there for another day and see how he feels tomorrow."
The left-handed hitter blasted two home runs during Saturday's doubleheader in Colorado, but he was out of the starting lineup the next day, though he pinch-hit in the ninth inning and grounded out to end the game.
Riggleman had hoped Dunn would be ready to go on Monday.
"I basically made two lineups," he said. "When he came in I thought he would feel better and he didn't, so I made that change."
The manager then moved second baseman Adam Kennedy to first base and moved left fielder Josh Willingham from fifth in the lineup to fourth. Ian Desmond, who was not in the original lineup, was then inserted to play shortstop, with Christian Guzman moving from shortstop to second base.
Dunn, in his second season with the Nationals, is hitting .254 this season with 10 doubles, one triple, nine home runs, 19 RBIs and 21 runs scored. He has a .378 on-base percentage and a .554 slugging percentage.
Back in St. Louis, Kennedy reminisces
ST. LOUIS -- Nationals infielder Adam Kennedy has a long history with the St. Louis Cardinals, who drafted him out of Cal State-Northridge back in 1997. He made his Major League debut with the club two years later.
The Cardinals then traded Kennedy, along with pitcher Kent Bottenfield, to the Angels for center fielder Jim Edmonds before the 2000 season. Kennedy, who won a World Series in Anaheim in '02, signed with the Cardinals as a free agent in 2007 and played two more seasons in St. Louis before being released prior to the '09 campaign.
On Monday, the 34-year-old infielder returned to Busch Stadium for the first time as a visiting player since his release and was asked to sum up his time with the Cardinals.
"It was a little rough, you know," Kennedy said. "But it's hard to argue with playing in a city that has a lot of support. I played with some good players and a great manager. It wasn't all for nothing."
Kennedy batted .219 in 87 games in 2007, before his season ended early because of a knee injury, with just 13 extra-base hits and 19 RBIs. He fared much better the following season, hitting .280 with 36 RBIs in 115 games.
After his release from the Cardinals, Kennedy signed with Oakland and posted a productive 2009 campaign. He batted .289 with 29 doubles, 11 home runs and 63 RBIs in 129 games. The second baseman then signed with the Nationals as a free agent in the offseason.
"Since, it has worked out great," Kennedy said. "I got to play a lot. I'm playing on a pretty good team right now. It has worked out well."
The left-handed hitting infielder has struggled early this season with Washington. He went into Monday's game hitting .245 with two home runs and 11 RBIs in his first 35 games.
Kennedy saw a familiar face on the mound at Busch on Monday in former teammate Kyle Lohse. In his career, Kennedy entered the contest hitting .414 (12 hits in 29 at-bats) with five RBIs against his former teammate.
Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.