Today could be interesting as well. Yeah, Strasburg goes tomorrow, but Scott Olsen pitches today. I don’t expect the 95 mph fastball from 3 years ago, but I want to see a healthy guy who can throw the ball. So even if he gets rocked, or strikes out the side, I’m really interested in seeing what he has. Will he be a veteran that can be relied on every 5 days?

If you like the Marquis signing, and think that it was wise to have a guy who has some innings behind him sitting in the rotation this year, then Olsen should be as important as anyone. Will he be able to go out there and throw 150+ innings this year? Will he be good enough to keep them in games and have a league average ERA? The interesting thing about Olsen as opposed to Marquis is there is more upside with Olsen. He may or may not be good at all, but if he is, you can start wondering if he’ll get that heater back as the spring goes on.

And if you’re looking for something positive that’s already happened, look no further than Matt Chico. The guy who once showed promise with an ERA+ of 91 in his age 24 rookie season while slogging through 31 starts is now 3 years removed from that season. He is also close to 2 years removed from his last major league start thanks to Tommy John surgery. But he looked good this weekend, facing 6 batters and getting all 6 out. The reporter on our payroll has a nice article on his performance, but once thing that jumped out to me was this

It’s been nearly two years since Chico underwent Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, a procedure that sidetracked his career at age 25 but could ultimately resurrect it. Before the surgery, his fastball barely reached 85-86 mph. He surpassed that today, maintaining it in the 87-89 mph range, and he believes he can consistently crack the 90 mph barrier

Pretty good news for Chico, and yeah, he’s never gonna be an ace. But this guy carried the load for the team in 2007, and it would be nice to see him succeed. Here’s a couple more articles on him, which the same overarching theme – he was nervous.

By Charlie