Q&a // Garrett Olson

February 19, 2007|By ROCH KUBATKO

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -- Garrett Olson was the 48th overall selection in the 2005 draft. Two years later, he's knocking on the door to the majors. David Stockstill, the Orioles' director of minor league operations, said the left-hander might be ready for the team's bullpen now if he wasn't projected as a starter, which probably will require him to spend most, if not all, of the upcoming season at Triple-A Norfolk.

What was your reaction when notified of your spring training invitation? -- "It was pure excitement. I've been looking forward to that moment my whole life, especially my whole baseball career. To get that opportunity was huge, and I'm going to try to take advantage of every second that I'm here, just be a sponge and soak up anything I can and just learn more about the game."

How close are you to being ready for the majors? -- "I feel pretty confident right now with what I can do, and being around this environment. I kind of leave that up to the coaches and everybody else who's in charge. All I can do is come here and just keep working."

Who are some of the veterans you looked forward to meeting? -- "For me, it was Erik Bedard, another fellow lefty. I've been watching his career a little bit and been very impressed with what he's been able to do. And also to see Adam Loewen again, another lefty who had some success last year."

What are your early impressions of Leo Mazzone? -- "He's just a great guy, with a good attitude. He's fun to joke with, and he definitely knows what he's talking about."

What would you be doing if you weren't playing baseball? -- "I really like golf right now, and I was kind of liking tennis, so I think I'd try to pursue tennis if I didn't have baseball. Or I could stick with my degree out of Cal-Poly, mechanical engineering or something related."

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