COLLEGE & HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL ATHLETES
SEATTLE - There are those rare moments when you actually get to see a dream come true. Lefty reliever Tyler Olson got the word last week that he had beaten the odds as a non-roster invite by winning a spot on the Seattle Mariners’ 25-man roster for Monday’s season opener against the Los Angeles Angels. It became official Saturday, shortly after the Mariners concluded their Cactus League schedule, when the club announced it had selected the Spokane native’s contract from Triple-A Tacoma. The Mariners offered Olson an opportunity to trade his spring No. 66 for something more traditional for big-league players, but he declined.
“For me,” he said, “it was just remembering my first spring training. Just the opportunity of being there for my first big-league camp. It’s a little bit of remembering where I came from. And, obviously, it was working well for me.”
Olson, 25, faced long odds when camp opened in mid-February. Yes, the bullpen had a possible opening for a lefty reliever, but he spent last season as a starter — first at Hi-A High Desert and later at Double-A Jackson. Plus, he had barely more than 200 innings of professional experience following his selection in the seventh round of the 2013 draft after a standout career at Gonzaga. Olson appeared a good bet to start the season at Tacoma, particularly since competition for that bullpen job appeared stiff when camp opened. Lucas Luetge topped the returning candidates and figured to get a long look. Olson outpitched them all; he didn’t permit an earned run in 122/3 innings over 10 appearances. He allowed eight hits but didn’t walk a batter while registering 15 strikeouts.
So here he is, in the big leagues.