Olsen out of the mix
Barring a trade acquisition, Charlie Morton will begin the season as the Pirates No. 5 starter.
Jenifer Langosh of MLB.com reports that free agent signee Scott Olsen is out of the mix for a starting spot.
According to Langosh, Olsen is not hurt but his arm strength is not there and he could begin the season on the disabled list.
Another option being explored by the Pirates, is starting Olsen in the bullpen to begin the season, especially with Joe Beimel’s status for opening day in doubt. Olsen is said to be against a move to the bullpen.
Olsen signed a 1 year deal worth $450,000. He can receive up to $3 million in performance bonuses, based on games started.
He has been a disappointment this spring after showing up to camp out of shape. His work ethic has been in question for quite sometime during his MLB career.
Olsen has been ineffective in his limited action this spring, posting a 15.43 ERA in 2.1 innings pitched.
Morton has rebounded with an excellent spring, posting a team-best 1.29 ERA among starters. He pitched 6 scoreless innings against the Houston Astros on Sunday. Many factors attributed to Morton’s success this spring has been changes to his delivery.
Morton has shown much improvement with his command, striking out 8 and walking only 1 batter in 14 innings of work.
The Pirates earlier this morning released infielder Garrett Atkins. Atkins was hitting .129 this spring.