Washington Nationals southpaw starter Scott Olsen, winner of 35 games in the major leagues, is pitching a rehab start with the Hagerstown Suns on Saturday. He took some time to talk about his recovery and road back to the nation's capital:
It has been a while since you have pitched in the minors and the South Atlantic League, what has it been like to return?
It is different, you get a different perspective on how things work once you've gone through the system. It makes you appreciate the ability you have and that you are able to work your way through it.
This will be your third rehab appearance, what had you been working on in the previous two with the GCL Nationals?
I've been working on staying healthy, while you are rehabbing in Florida, it is not really about results, you are just hoping to walk off the field healthy. I have been working hard on fastball location, it is something I work on every time I take the mound.
What was your injury?
I had a labrum surgery last July. There are no anchors or severe structural damage, but the injury was severe enough that it needed surgery. This year it is fighting through some scar tissue and some effects from last year.
Do you feel you are back to full strength yet?
I'm getting there; it is coming slowly. It is obviously a time-consuming process but you want to do what is best for your body, but I feel like I am getting close.
How is it just playing baseball again?
It is fun, it is something I have done since I have been four or five years old, so when you can't play baseball it is very frustrating.
When you were with Greensboro in 2003 in the Marlins system, you pitched at Municipal Stadium twice. Do you remember what you thought about those games or the stadium?
I remember a little bit about the stadium, and it was a Giants organization back then, hopefully we can reminisce a little bit and have a good outing here.
The Nationals have a mostly young pitching staff, what is it like working with them and what do you think their future is like?
It is fun, all of us are kind of in the same boat, we have a lot of stuff to prove in the game and we all know that. We feed off each other and ride each other's success and try not to have that bad quality start to mess up the streak.
If you had one piece of advice for aspiring minor league players, what would you tell them?
Enjoy the time you have in the minor leagues, where it can be a little more fun. There are times when in the big leagues where you play and it gets to be a lot about the business aspect of the game, and in the minor leagues it is just a lot of fun to come out and play. When you move up you can forget that sometimes.
The Hagerstown Suns play at Municipal Stadium in Hagerstown, MD and are a Class "A" affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Ticket packages and sponsorships are available by calling the Suns at 301-791-6266. Visit the Suns on the web at www.hagerstownsuns.com. The Suns are owned by Los Angeles based Mandalay Baseball Properties.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.