WASHINGTON -- Drew Storen has started throwing again, and even though the Nationals' closer will start the season on the disabled list, the right-hander agreed with manager Davey Johnson's thoughts that he could return by mid-April.
Storen, who will miss the start of the season while recovering from inflammation in his right elbow, threw 25 pitches before Tuesday's exhibition finale vs. the Red Sox and will throw again in the next day or two.
After that, Storen's hoping to get into a game, but he isn't yet sure where that's going to be at.
"I don't know where I'm going to throw," Storen said. "It feels great. I let it go a little bit today for the first time in a while. It didn't feel bad at all."
Storen said starting the year on the DL is going to be tough, but he's looking at the long term rather than the short term.
"I'd much rather be out there in October," he said.
Lidge will fill whatever role Johnson needs him in
WASHINGTON -- With Drew Storen on the disabled list, the Nationals will likely use Brad Lidge and/or Henry Rodriguez in the closer's role.
Lidge was a solid closer for the Astros and Phillies throughout his career until last year. Injuries held him out for the first part of the 2011, and he finished with one save in 25 games with Philadelphia.
The veteran said he'll do whatever manager Davey Johnson and the Nationals ask of him, although closing would still be fun.
"I definitely still have that itch," Lidge said, "but at the same time, we've got a couple guys down there that could really close and be successful just about anywhere. I'll do what they need me to do early, and hopefully Drew will be back real soon."
Lidge said the bullpen should be very effective, especially with the hard-throwing younger pitchers like Storen, Rodriguez and Tyler Clippard -- all of whom the veteran sees as possible closers at some point in their careers.
"There's a lot of talent down there in the bullpen right now," Lidge said.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.