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Olsen: "This is the best I’ve felt"

Mar 8, 2010, 8:54 PM EDT


Photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
Scott Olsen allowed three runs and seven hits but said his surgically repaired arm felt great.

VIERA, Fla. — Scott Olsen walked into the clubhouse at Space Coast Stadium, his surgically repaired left shoulder encased his ice, his ragged spring training debut — three runs, seven hits in only two innings — in the books.

So why was the left-hander grinning from ear-to-ear?

"This was the best I've felt so far, by far," he said. "Every bullpen, every batting practice, everything we've done so far … this is the best I've felt arm-wise."

When you're eight months removed from major surgery to repair a torn labrum and can still throw a baseball 87 mph and hit your spots with some consistency … well, the results on the scoreboard don't matter a whole lot.

Make no mistake, Olsen can't keep pitching like this all spring and expect to make the Opening Day roster. At some point in the next week or two, results will matter. For now, it's all about the state of his left arm, and the 26-year-old had no complaints about that today.Read more ยป

  1. Dave Nichols - Mar 8, 2010 at 9:07 PM

    Mark, do you get the feeling if the team thinks Olsen won't be ready by opening day they'll send him to the DL, or John Patterson him before the rest of his salary kicks in? it's two springs in a row they've waived injured pitchers instead of carrying them (see: Patterson and Shawn Hill)

  2. greg - Mar 8, 2010 at 9:26 PM

    i have to suspect it depends on how far along they think he is. if they think he's got velocity and location on the way back, you have to take the chance on the salary and start him on the DL with a "rehab assignment" in the minors to finish getting ready. so i like hearing what i've read here. let's hope next time he improves and still feels good afterward. this is more what i was hoping to hear than just seeing a pretty box score.

  3. Randy - Mar 8, 2010 at 9:36 PM

    Haven't looked at the box score yet, but it's pretty disappointing that the Nats only managed 2 runs with their best lineup in today.

  4. Nats fan in NJ - Mar 8, 2010 at 9:55 PM

    The difference between Olsen and JP/Hill is track record. Olsen has a better track record of success, along with this being his only time injured. JP and Hill were constantly injured and brittle. I would be shocked if they jettisoned him b/f Opening Day.

  5. JMW4th - Mar 8, 2010 at 9:57 PM

    I've heard these kinds of comments before…let's hope they turn out different this time.and what the heck happened to Balester? too much Mustache, not enough pitching. let's hope he straightens it out.

  6. HabsProf - Mar 8, 2010 at 10:45 PM

    Why is Desmond playing center? Earlier he was playing right? Are they just checking to see how useful he would be in a utility role? I don't mind that as long as the kid doesn't get pigeon-holed as a utility player without getting the chance to prove himself as a full-time SS.

  7. Wigi - Mar 8, 2010 at 10:53 PM

    Not saying that Olsen is in the same boat as Patterson and Hill… but certainly, the Nats are not in the same boat… The Nats were hoping/relying on Patterson and Hill to be the staff ace at this point, and they were not physically up to it. Nobody has that expectation of Olsen… and Olsen doesn't need to make the team necessarily to continue his career. Unlike both Hill and Patterson, he can go on the DL if he's not physicaly ready… the Nats have enough warm bodies that they don't need him to make the team to avoid panic.

  8. JayB - Mar 8, 2010 at 10:57 PM

    Mark,Did N Morgan really slide head first in that game today? Are these guys uncoachable or what? This team is head nowhere fast if they can not get this simple directive implemented. You gotta pull him right then and there..yes in a Spring Training game and sit him down right next to you for the rest of the game…..Sometimes the old ways are the best ways…did anyone ask Riggs about it?

  9. Wally - Mar 8, 2010 at 11:55 PM

    I am with HabsProf. Moving Desmond all over the place just doesn't make any sense. He has a chance to become a starting MLB SS, he is a young player new to the bigs, and by all scouting reports that have made their way to the web, needs to work on his fielding routine. Let him focus on that, and don't throw all of this extraneous crap at him. I am less worried about whether he starts the year in DC or Syracuse, but he needs to be playing SS, and only SS (ok, maybe a little 2b, but no fecking OF at all).Rizzo is a smart guy, and pretty methodical from what I can tell from his other moves, but this is a real head scratcher. It seems out of character. My only conclusion is that Rizzo has already decided that Desmond isn't starting caliber, and is seeing what he can get out of him.

  10. peric - Mar 8, 2010 at 11:58 PM

    … or if he doesn't want a long rehab trip to Harrisburg AA. It had better improve.

  11. peric - Mar 9, 2010 at 12:00 AM

    Olsen is option-able if they don't want to DL him. And he has more than one.

  12. JayB - Mar 9, 2010 at 12:05 AM

    I agree that Rizzo is trying to get Ian D ready to trade later this year. Danny E is the SS that Rizzo drafted not Ian. I have no problem with that….get me some pitching please.

  13. Jeeves - Mar 9, 2010 at 1:48 AM

    Hi, Just trying to see if i can sign in.

  14. Jeeves - Mar 9, 2010 at 1:50 AM

    Thanks Natsfan,Now, about this team and what a great job Rizzo has done….

  15. Jeeves - Mar 9, 2010 at 1:54 AM

    Thanks Natsfan (j.campbell)Now, about this team and the great job Rizzo is doing…

  16. natsfan1a - Mar 9, 2010 at 3:15 AM

    You're welcome, Jeeves. Glad that you finally got through.

  17. RPS - Mar 9, 2010 at 3:46 AM

    JayB,What exactly do you think the Nationals can get for Desmond? I imagine that most teams have a Desmond-like prospect in the system. I agree with everyone else though, he should get a chance to start every day, but it's not as if we are talking about Hanley Ramirez here, or even Stephen Drew. I also don't see any benefit to trading him. Even if Espinoza keeps progressing, he's still probably at least two years from the bigs.

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