Monday, February 22, 2010
Olsen not quite there yet
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VIERA, Fla. -- Day two of pitchers and catchers workouts are now in the books, so every pitcher in camp (aside from Jordan Zimmermann) has thrown a bullpen session. Another 16 guys threw today, and the one I was most interested in watching from that group was Scott Olsen.
Olsen, you'll remember, had labrum surgery in August following some unsightly performances earlier in the season. He's back pitching and is deemed 100 percent healthy, but you can tell he still isn't quite back to where he wants to be. After several pitches today, he'd mutter to himself or make some kind of facial expression that indicated he wasn't totally pleased with whatever he just offered up.
The left-hander, though, isn't down on himself. He's not in any pain when he throws. He knows part of the final stages of recovery is rediscovering his "feel" for pitching, and at this stage it's not always going to be there every time he toes the rubber.
"Some days -- I guess because your strength isn't all the way built up and you're still pushing through it a little bit -- some days will be better than others," he said. "But I felt good. Just not as live, I guess would be a good way to put it."
Olsen, who was non-tendered on Dec. 12 but then re-signed for $1 million, understands nothing is being handed to him this spring. When I asked him if he felt like a starting job is his as long as he proves he's healthy, he quickly responded: "No, I think I'm competing for it."
"With the way guys pitched last year, some successfully, in my case unsuccessfully, I think there's open competition here after those two spots [John Lannan and Jason Marquis]," he added. "It should bring out the best in everybody, I think. We had something like this in Florida in '06 where it was kind of a crap shoot and nobody knew what was going to happen. We had Dontrelle [Willis] and four spots for everybody. And that really brought out the best in everybody. That was a really good camp, I thought, talent-wise. Hopefully the same kind of thing happens here and we'll get to see everybody's best stuff here in spring training."
Posted by Mark Zuckerman at 12:41 PM