Olsen out; Morton to earn 5th spot
Left-hander Scott Olsen is no longer being considered for the fifth spot in the starting rotation. He is taking a step back, to gain arm strength, which was lost while recovering from a left hamstring strain.
According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, The Pirates and Olsen met on Monday to discuss his situation and decided to slow things down.
General manager Neal Huntington emphasized that Olsen is not injured. He simply is not where he or the club expected him to be this late in camp. The time missed due to a hamstring strain cost Olsen arm strength.
The ball is just not coming out of his hand the way it was pre-hamstring injury,” Huntington said.
Olsen told Langosch of MLB.com, “The arm strength is not where I think it should be. We’re just going to take some time here to build up some arm strength and feel, and get some consistency. What we’re doing is making sure that once I get healthy, we can roll. What we’re doing is just trying to get 100 percent ready now before we go forward.”
Olsen made two appearances this spring –and they were not very promising. He allowed four runs (two of them were from the long ball) on five hits over two innings while walking three and striking out one.
General Manager Neal Huntington told Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune, “Scott is out of the major league rotation competition and may even be out of the bullpen competition. Does that mean he starts the season on the DL? Potentially, in order to get him back to 100 percent.”
On a much brighter note –It looks as if Charlie Morton will be the Pirates No. 5 starter. Although the Pirates haven’t officially announced it yet, it looks promising for the right-hander who boasted a 1.29 ERA this spring.
Huntington told Biertempfel, “Charlie’s made a case to have that be the situation. We have not sat down as a staff and formalized that. He’s thrown the ball well. He’s attacked the bottom half of the strike zone. He’s let it fly. He’s been aggressive. His pace has been good. The results have been there. It’s been very encouraging. Hopefully, he carries it forward until September.”
*Photo credit: (Olsen) Tribune, (Morton) Tribune