Last Call from the Desert…Ron Washington on Mike Olt
“Not really, I don’t really think so because this was just a short 2 innings, and i didn’t really have to pace myself. So just the fact that I was throwing 96 right ow doesn’t mean that I’m going to throw 100 during the season.”
Yu Darvish when asked if throwing his fastball 96 miles per hour on Tuesday meant anything.
Mike Olt appears like he is putting in extra time in the batting cage this week.
“Why,” Olt said. “My swing feels great.”
He smiled as he said that Tuesday morning, showing he still has a sense of humor. But he was 0-for-6 with four strikeouts going into Tuesday’s game against the White Sox so his swing probably didn’t look all that great.
“Yeah, obviously I haven’t felt comfortable at the plate,” Olt said. “I’m working to figure some things out and get back to where I was last year. The biggest problem was I was taking what I was learning in the batting cage and trying to throw them out in the game. Instead you have to compete at the plate and hope what you’ve learned comes naturally.”
Manager Ron Washington had a chat with Olt earlier this week. Washington told Olt to quit worrying about if he’ll make the team or not, just go out and play the game. The organization has a high regard for him and that’s not going to change if he has to start the season in Triple A. Washington just wants Olt to be himself and not thinking about what will happen at the end of Spring Training.
“He’s not the only one struggling but he looks a little bit off. The more at-bats he gets, the better he’ll be.”
Olt finally broke through with a home run on Tuesday against the White Sox. Olt is also learning how to play right field but said that hasn’t caused his struggles at the plate.
“It’s a fun thing to work on a new position,” Olt said. “Hitting just takes time to get into the swing of things, at least for some guys. Some of these guys look like they never stop hitting.”
Cody Buckel made his Cactus League debut on Tuesday and it didn’t go well. He retired just one of seven batters, walking five of them. An error by Olt at third base didn’t help.
“He couldn’t get the ball down with his breaking ball, changeup or fastball,” Washington said. “It’s his first time, we’ll see how he does the next time. He’ll get a chance to atone. He’s got good stuff, he’s got to get the ball down.”