Making decisions and morning links
By tomorrow morning, the Nationals will have made a final decision on at least their first four starters for the regular season. Craig Stammen's spot seems secure. Scott Olsen, today's starter against the Braves, is seemingly down to his last chance.
At the outset of the spring, the Nationals counted on Olsen as one of their starters, so long as he was healhty. Well, he hasn't not been healthy, but he also hasn't proved the effects of shoulder surgery last summer are behind him, either. He has allowed 23 hits in 9 1/3 innings, and the velocity on his fastball, while improving, is stuck below 90 mph.
No matter what Olsen does today, the Nationals will likely face decision with Olsen other than whether or not he belongs in the rotation. If Olsen remains with the team past March 31, pitching the majors or minors, they Nationals will owe him his $1 million salary. If they release him, they'll owe him 45 day's pay. If they believe Olsen may help them eventually, they could suck it up and let him regain full strenght. If not, they could cut ties and risk losing a 26-year-old lefty who's throw 200 innings in a big league season.
That's one tough call for the Nationals. Others are happening, too, and the roster is starting to come into focus for the Nationals. On the minor league side, Chris Marrero is waiting for his chance. The Nationals pop up often in this list of trade rumors. People in Harrisburg are buying gobs of tickets and guessing when Stephen Strasburg will pitch.
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