Olsen to Visit James Andrews
Instead of appearance on the mound Monday at Nationals Park, Scott Olsen will be in Birmingham, Ala., to visit Dr. James Andrews.
Olsen was scratched from his starts last Friday and on Monday after complaining of tightness in the left side of his back. He was evaluated on Friday and is seeking a second opinion from Andrews, the renowned orthopedic surgeon, possibly indicating the injury is more serious than initially believed. In Olsen's place, the Nationals will likely recall a pitcher from the Class AAA Syracuse.
"He just wants to get some more information about why this pain is persisting," Jim Riggleman, the interim manager, said of Olsen, adding: "He's still sore. So he'll be shut down for a while probably."
Asked if Olsen would miss this turn in the rotation or if he would be out for a prolonged period, Mike Rizzo, the acting general manager, said: "Let's let Dr. Andrews answer that question instead of Mike Rizzo. He's much more qualified."
Olsen missed more than a month earlier this season with left shoulder tendinitis. He came off of the disabled list on June 29, and he has a 3.74 ERA and a 1-0 record in three starts since then. Olsen has declined to comment on his status.
"As pitchers tend to do, he probably felt something in that last game he pitched and just didn't say anything and felt like I'm going to pitch through this," Riggleman said. "Then, after the fact, it just didn't feel good. You admire him for trying to do that for the ballclub, but it may or may not have made the difference."
Closer by Committee
On Friday, Riggleman used Mike MacDougal in the eighth inning and Joe Beimel in the ninth. MacDougal was the Nationals' closer under Manny Acta.
Riggleman said he planned to use something of a closer-by-committee approach, not settling on one pitcher in late-inning situations. Rather, Riggleman said, he would let the situation and circumstances dictate which pitcher would be brought in from the bullpen.
Nationals prospect Drew Storen, a closer selected 10th overall pick in the draft, has issued no walks and has struck out 23 in 13 2/3 innings with Class A Hagerstown. Washington does not have defined plans to promote him. "He's leaning toward really making it tough not to move him up," Rizzo said.
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