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Some runs, but no concerns for Scott Olsen

The initial results in Scott Olsen's return from shoulder surgery conflicted with how Olsen viewed them. Olsen allowed seven hits in two innings, including a three-run home by Jorge Cantu of the Marlins that accounted for all the runs Olsen surrendered. But he emerged upbeat and feeling that "everything is progressing in the right direction."

"I thought it was good," Olsen said. "It was obviously a little rough there in the first inning. We were down in the zone for the most part. Had a good angle on the fastball. This is a positive and a step in the right direction for me."

Before his first start since surgery to repair a minor tear in his labrum, Olsen felt nervous. He wondered how his arm would react to competitive circumstances.

"There was worry," Olsen said. "Trust me, there's worry. Not scared, but worried. Worried and nervous for how it was going to respond, how it was going to react to being in a game for the first time. Everything passed in flying colors."

Olsen is trying to revert back to the mechanics he used as a young pitcher with the Marlins, which unraveled and led to this arm trouble. During games, he plans to leave that work aside.

"On the field, I don't really think about it," Olsen said. "When you're on the field during the game, you're just trying to get guys out and compete in the game however you can. All the mechanical stuff is for the side work. It'll come. It'll just naturally work itself into the game."

Despite the number of hits, several of which were bloops or bleeders, Olsen felt like his location was good. He hit between 86 and 88 mph on his fastball, which he also approved. Afterward, wearing an ice pack on his shoulder, Olsen was most happy about the way his arm responded.

"This is the best I've felt so far, by far," Olsen said. "This is the best I've felt."

By Adam Kilgore  |  March 8, 2010; 3:54 PM ET
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Next: Breaking down another bad day of Nationals pitching


The man is playing for a contract, what do you expect him to say, "I really sucked out there today and I feel like crap...wouldn't be surprised if they cut me tonight"?

Posted by: TimDz | March 8, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

that's fair, to an extent, tim. i'd be interested to hear what others say about his outing. especially others w/o a vested interest in the outcome. were there any scouts from other teams there who might have some insight they'd share?

Posted by: sec231 | March 8, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully his velocity will increase with each outing because 86-88 mph is not going to cut it and he will get pounded.

Posted by: Section505203 | March 8, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I agree that outside analysis would be best. That said, I am willing to give him the benefit for the time being, coming off the injury/sugery etc. and the fact that he has pretty much pitched up to par with the others in camp to this point.
I am hoping to see a bit of separation the next go-around with regards to the starting pitching. I expect Lannan, Marquis especially show marked improvement in their next starts.

Posted by: TimDz | March 8, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

If this is good progress, and a good outing given where's he's at, I'll take his word for that.
And 88 mph today certainly could mean 94 mph in another month.
But there's no way he's ready for Opening Day.
He can't possibly get his velocity, new mechanics, and get safely and comfortably get stretched out to 100 pitches over the next 4 weeks.

Posted by: Sunderland | March 8, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad he wasn't hurting because it would be sad to stink and be in pain.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | March 8, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

and to stink, be in pain, and be sad, only leaves being wet and cold. And that only leaves stink, in pain, sad, wet, cold, and unemployed.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 8, 2010 6:22 PM | Report abuse

So it cold be worse...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 8, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

could. I typed "could"--really I did.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 8, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, it's not how you feel, it's how you look.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | March 8, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

Needs to work on rehabbing in AA Harrisburg. He has more options than Chico. Dude you are headed for the minors.

Posted by: periculum | March 8, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Sunderland's right; too many question marks surrounding Olsen. I like Scott's competitive spirit but I think his determination to be in the rotation on Opening Day will sabotage his shoulder rehab program and ambitious overhaul of his pitching mechanics. But what do I know? Steve McCatty has fully endorsed the Olsen Plan. And he's the expert, right?

Posted by: CapPeterson1 | March 8, 2010 7:04 PM | Report abuse

Olsen's mechanics and location looked good but he topped out at 88 mph and he wasn't fooling anybody. Indeed, that was the biggest problem with the pitchers today - the Marlins looked very comfortable and knew they were going to get a pitch they they could hit.

The exception was Clippard who - relative to everyone else - looked great.

In fairness to Olsen, he had some bad luck in the first inning. Orr cost him a couple of base runners, Willie nearly made the type of "Super Willie" catch that we now expect from him (but it went for a HR), and Zimm snagged a line drive that popped out of his glove. But Olsen's velocity is not yet back.

Posted by: lowcountry | March 8, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

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