A quick post-bullpen chat with Steve McCatty
Scott Olsen might just be the fulcrum of Washington's rotation, for better or worse. If he's healthy, the Nats have three established starters (counting John Lannan and Jason Marquis) in their rotation. If he isn't, the Nats have three big spots to fill. Right now, Olsen says he's about 80-percent recovered from left shoulder surgery, but he expects to be 100-percent by Opening Day.
Pitching coach Steve McCatty shared his thoughts about Olsen and others following the Nats' bullpen sessions today.
Q: What did you see from Scott Olsen?
McCatty: He started loosening up pretty good. First time, so he wanted to throw well. I got here a couple days early so I had seen him throw a bullpen [earlier]. I thought he threw the ball well.
Q: Are there certain guideposts you look for with him in terms of seeing if his arm is back?
McCatty: I'm not looking for anything today other than just talking to guys and seeing how they feel. If he's sound that way -- and he's been really honest; you have to be, and if you feel stiff or anything let us know -- but he said, 'No, I felt fine.'
Q: I remember earlier in the week he was throwing at maybe 80-percent. Has it progressed beyond that?
McCatty: You know, it's so hard for me to judge. You go home all winter, come back, and everybody looks like they're throwing 98 mph. But it's really hard to tell what's 100-percent, what's 50-percent. But he looked great. I'm real happy with what I've seen so far. It's an awful big piece if he feels good and throws like he's capable of. That's gonna be a big plus.
Q: Is there with him a certain point in camp where you need to see the velocity there?
McCatty: Well, I'm just concerned right now with how he feels. He feels good. I know he went last year through some mechanical issues that he was working on in Florida and then he got away from it, and when I first saw him throw I saw the things he was trying to work on -- getting the length in his arm and the extension. I picked that up when I first walked in. So that looks good. He's getting his arm up free and easy and he really looks good. How he feels tomorrow -- he's off tomorrow; throws a bullpen Wednesday -- we'll see. But I expect [that he'll be okay].
Q: How about Storen?
McCatty: Great. [Laughs, as if to indicate an understatement] I said, 'OK, you've got eight minutes here. I don't want you to set a record for pitches.' I said, just pace yourself here. But no, he's got an outstanding arm. I saw him throw when he came in before the draft so I had a chance to look at him and saw him today. Looking at those two guys the last couple days is pretty impressive. I mean it's unbelievable.
Q: You're talking about Tyler Walker, I take it? [Sarcasm.]
McCatty: I'm talking about the big beast.
Q: Why do you think so far Storen has had that great control?
McCatty: He's just one of those guys. He's got the mechanics, he gets the leverage, he gets the angles. He's not a real tall guy, but he's able to keep that delivery all the time. Sometimes you end up throwing too many strikes and you end up having to move the ball off a little bit, but he's just able to repeat his delivery over and over and over. That's the key for all the guys. You do that, and you also check in at 96 mph out there, you say, 'Here it is. Go ahead and try to hit it.'
Q: What do you see from Shairon Martis? Because he was in the rotation at the beginning of last year and now doesn't seem to get talked about as much.
McCatty: Yeah, well I love him... Everybody you're talking about, looking at those guys [for the last rotation spots], but I love him. He's got great stuff. His arm dropped a bit and started nibbling last year, started walking some people and got in trouble. But I like him. If he gets in the right arm slot where he should be, he's got a devastating change-up with that fastball, he should be fine. But if there hasn't been a lot of talking, maybe you just haven't asked the right questions. Because everybody still feels good about him... Inside, his name always comes up. He's what, 22 or 23 years old? He's got a great future. He really does.
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