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."


Anonymous said...


This has nothing to do with the post on Scott Olsen, but Ladsen put up a story yesterday saying that Flores is the "Catcher of the Future" for the Nats. If this is true, what do they plan on doing with Derrick Norris and Bryce Harper (assuming he is drafted, which is a pretty good assumption)?

Keep up the good stuff.

Johnny Baconbitz said...

Following up on that, how soon is Norris expected?
I almost don't want to go the Harper route, more pitching :-)

cadeck13 said...

Thanks for the update on Scott Olsen, I've been waiting for some info on him too. I really hope the kid comes back 110% - he has moxie and I'd really enjoy seeing him back in the rotation. Keep us informed on his progression.

JayB said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Whokebe said...

Is Detwiler the guy in the picture on crutches? Thanks in advance.

JayB said...

hanks for the Audio of the this stuff....Did not sound good to me....he sounded frustrated and hurting...Keep an eye on him for us....You know Rizzo will cut him to save paying him if he is not effective soon.

Mark Zuckerman said...

Whokebe: Yes, that's Ross Detwiler on the crutches.

Anonymous said...

We cannot wait for baseball to begin! We are enjoying your detailed observations, Mark. Do you also plan to follow the minor league teams (AA, A) after they arrive and begin playing?

Randy said...

Good question about Flores/Norris/Harper. I've been wondering about that myself. Maybe they try to move Harper to the outfield if he's drafted? Seems like too good of a prospect to pass on. Some more pitching would be nice though. Maybe draft Harper and trade Norris?

Positively Half St. said...

It seems that the Nats made offers to both Chan Ho Park and Braden Looper. Before getting on Rizzo's case for failing to get them, though, please consider that Park wanted to play on a contending team, and that the Yankees got him for a lower price. The Cubs and Nats had offers, but he could sign with the Yankees when he would accept something lower.

Looper has told the Nats he is going in a different direction. That doesn't mean he has offers necessarily, but just that he doesn't want to play for the Nats.

My conclusion is just that trying to sign players and offering them more money may not be enough, and it isn't fair to get on the FO for this. I have been guilty of it at times, but until the team has a more successful year, some players won't even entertain the option of coming here. It's a tough spot to be in.

JayB said...

Before you give the FO a pass remember that the FO caused the 100 loss seasons by making really bad decisions in 2007 and 2008.

Yes Jimbo is gone but Rizzo was there and Stan was in charge and Lerner signed (or did not) the checks.

Lopez, Kearns, Le Duca, Estrada, going cheap on Manager/Coaching Staffs and putting trust in a fool of a GM is still on Lerner and Stan.....Stan does not get a pass and neither does Learner...they caused the situation where good players do not want to be associated with the Nats.

greg said...

I have no problem with having Flores, Norris, and Harper in the system.

Catching is kinda like pitching, when it comes to tradeable commodities. You can't have too much. Most catchers have a very short life-span, and an even shorter peak window. If the Nats end up with all three being ready for the majors, then there's trade bait to fill a different hole.

Let's not get into the "don't draft that guy in the first round, we already have too many in the system" mentality. This might be ok in later rounds, but in the first round, and especially when you're drafting at the top of the round, you draft the best guy. Period.

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