Trouble From Scott Olsen?

Colin Dunlap shared the following quote from left handed pitcher Scott Olsen, who the Pittsburgh Pirates signed this off-season:

“They didn’t bring me in here to be a bullpen guy,” Scott Olsen told the Post-Gazette. “They want to do that, we are going to have to have a conversation about it, and we haven’t had one about it.”

Will Olsen be a problem if he is moved to the bullpen?

This kind of comment raises some questions about how Olsen could handle a bullpen assignment if he loses the fifth starter role to Charlie Morton.  Olsen has complained in the past when placed in a bullpen role, so the comments he made aren’t surprising.  It also wouldn’t be a surprise to see him react negatively if Morton wins the fifth starter spot to open the season.  Olsen is currently rehabbing from a hamstring strain, which has set him back behind Morton for the battle for the final spot in the rotation.

If Olsen does get placed in the bullpen, he doesn’t have much room to complain.  He is coming off a year where he put up a 5.56 ERA in 81 innings.  The year before he had a 6.03 ERA in 62.2 innings.  He had a strong 2008 season, where he posted a 4.20 ERA in 201.2 innings, although that was aided by a lucky .258 BABIP.  Since then he’s been inefficient and injury prone, which doesn’t guarantee him anything.  The fact that he only got $550 K guaranteed this off-season also shows that he shouldn’t be expecting anything.

Olsen has had a history of attitude problems in the past, ranging from complaints about his role, a DUI, and multiple fights with teammates.  I wasn’t a fan of his signing, as his attitude is not what you want in a young clubhouse like the Pirates have. The Pirates were targeting multiple bounce back candidates, and I felt that Jeff Francis, Brandon Webb, or Justin Duchscherer would have been a better option than Olsen.  Olsen has $2.95 M in potential performance bonuses this year, all based on starts, and starting at eight games started.  For that reason I can’t see him accepting a bullpen role without a complaint.  You have to wonder if Olsen will even be on the team at the start of the season.

Tim Williams

Author: 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 AccuScore.com, 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

    Cut the bum, we don’t need him for the future…

  • Todd Smith

    Deja Vu.

    “Nobody told me I was in competition. If there is competition, somebody better let me know. If there is competition, they better eliminate me out of the race and go ahead and do what they’re going to do with me. … If it ain’t settled with me out there, then they can trade me. I ain’t going out there to hurt myself in spring training battling for a job. If it is [a competition], then I’m going into ‘Operation Shutdown’.”

  • Anonymous

    earn your base salary vs batters, or get cut. until olsen demonstrates value to the roster, his words have zero value.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5LAGTSEFNNOQRZY6A3XLNY3X7E Neil

    Yoi, I didn’t like this signing from the get-go. Not sure what the reasoning was to bring this kind of guy in with a young staff and locker room.