Yesterday Emilio Bonifacio got payback against his old team as he ripped apart the Nats, batting 4-5 with an inside the park homer and three steals. Today it's Scott Olsen's turn. Olsen was traded to Washington last year (with Willingham for Bonifacio) after putting up an 8-11 record with 113 strikeouts and a 4.20 ERA in 201.2 innings pitched. Now he will pitch his first game of 2009 in Dolphins Stadium, but this time in a Nationals Jersey.
Olsen was once considered one of the better young pitchers in the game after going 12-10 with a 4.04 ERA and 166 K's in 180.2 innings in 2006, all at the age of 22. The road hasn't gone so well for the Nats new lefty since, but at the age of only 25, the club is hoping he will regain his once promising form. Look for Olsen to start his season strong on his new team against his old club.
Maybin was the major prospect dealt back to Florida in the blockbuster 2007 trade that sent Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis to Detroit. He has a set of tools that have made scouts salivate since he busted on to the scene at the age of 19 in low A ball. Throughout his minor league career he has shown great plate patience, speed and fielding ability. Scouts believe that with his build and athleticism he will quickly develop into a power hitting centerfielder with serious 30-30 potential. Some have gone so far to compare him to a young Ken Griffey Jr.
Now at the age of only 22, Maybin is the starting centerfielder for the Marlins. He's an exciting young asset for a up an coming team that is trying to build upon a very solid 2008. It will be interesting to see if Maybin is ready to handle the big leagues for a full 162 game season but it looks as if the Marlins are going to let him try.
The Nationals Bullpen
What a rough way to start the season for a pitching staff that was already teetering on the brink. John Lannan's three inning outing forced the bullpen to pitch five innings in a basically unwinnable game. For losing teams, one of the biggest dilemmas is the wear and tear on a bullpen that is forced to pitch too many innings.
You often will hear managers discussing losing streaks, or cold streaks, by first talking about one or two bad starts that put the bullpen in rough shape. It will be important for Olsen to eat up some innings tonight in order to help the pen rebound and not dig the Nats in a hole too deep, too early in the year.