Pirates Claim Garrett Olson

The Pirates claimed Olson from the Mariners today.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have claimed left handed pitcher Garrett Olson from the Seattle Mariners today.  Olsen should compete for a left handed bullpen spot.  Joe Beimel and Scott Olsen have both been injured at times this Spring, and both have struggled in their return.  They are the only options for the Pirates in terms of left handed relievers, although Scott Olsen is technically competing for a starting role.

Garrett Olson has a career 6.20 ERA in 283 innings in the majors, with most of those innings coming as a starter.  He moved to the bullpen in 2009, and pitched 37.2 innings out of Seattle’s pen in 2010, with a 4.54 ERA, a 7.4 K/9, and a 3.6 BB/9 ratio.  In his career, Olson has a .780 OPS vs left handers, and an .876 OPS vs right handers.  In his career as a reliever, he has a 4.27 ERA in 65.1 innings, with a 50:26 K/BB ratio, compared to a 6.78 ERA in 217.2 innings as a starter, along with a 139:113 K/BB ratio.

Olson is a decent arm to have, and he did show some improvements against left handers in 2010, with a .699 OPS, compared to an .829 OPS against right handers.  Overall he’s just a middle reliever, and would likely be the number two left hander in the bullpen if he makes the team.  The fact that the Pirates have two left handed pitchers competing for a bullpen role, one named Olsen, and the other named Olson, probably won’t get confusing at all.

Kevin Hart has been placed on the 60-day disabled list, which clears a spot for Olson on the 40-man roster, and also allows the Pirates to retain Hart, who is out of options and coming off an injury shortened 2010 season.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Anonymous

    I have a feeling that this will not be the last LH reliever that will be claimed with a shot at the bullpen. Beimel and Olsen have looked more like gas cans than firemen so far.

  • John Lease

    Ugh. Another leaving from the Mariners. Has anyone noticed that N H always seems to do his scrap picking from the AL? What, aren’t the NL teams worthy of being picked over? If it isn’t the Indians rejects, it is the Mariners or the Yankees.

  • Anonymous

    I think Beimel will be alright, I saw him in Sarasota the other day, his first time out, he was hitting 90 on the gun and when he wanted outs he went to his breaking ball and got the outs.
    One thing that does not show up with these pitchers in ST is some of the fielding, Beimel had terrible defense behind him, they had Miles Durham in left field and poor Miles should not have been there, he dropped one and missed one in front of him that any normal left fielder would have caught, so the box score does not always tell the whole story.
    In Bradenton I saw a ball hit to right and Jones leaped to catch the ball at the top of the fence and it almost hit him in the waist.

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