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Pirates Release Scott Olsen

The Pirates have released starting pitcher Scott Olsen, which is surprising mostly because Olsen was signed to a guaranteed, major-league contract over the winter.

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Olsen was supposed to compete with Charlie Morton for the fifth starter job in Spring Training, but he struggled with hamstring issues and was eventually shut down, never to return. As it turned out, Morton won the job on merit, and has mostly pitched well. On top of that, the Pirates have gotten surprisingly good work from Jeff Karstens since Ross Ohlendorf went down with an injury as well. Add in Olsen not being very good in the first place, and a case can be made that the Pirates simply don't need him. Also, if he catches on with another team, the Pirates will be off the hook for most of Olsen's (relatively meager) salary.

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Still, it's a little strange that, this early in the season, the Pirates would release an injured player who has a guaranteed contract. It may be that Olsen's injury is worse than reported. Olsen also has a hard-earned reputation for being a complete pain to work with, and he made waves before the season when he implied that he was unwilling to work out of the bullpen. It may be that the Pirates simply got sick of him. Who knows - in any case, the Bucs probably won't miss him much.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.