Pregame: Clock ticking for Olsen

The tarp was on the field this morning, but the Yankees-Pirates game likely will not be affected this afternoon.
The tarp was on the field this morning, but the Yankees-Pirates game likely will not be affected this afternoon.

BRADENTON, Fla. — Left-hander Scott Olsen isn’t concerned — yet — that his strained left hamstring will jeopardize his shot at making the starting rotation. When he’s finally able to get on a mound, Olsen will need time to get stretched out for the season as a starter. “I’ve got about another week and a half before I’d start worrying about that,” he said this morning.

Olsen threw a bullpen yesterday and will toss another one Wednesday. But he’s still not participating in full-speed running and fielding drills. “My leg feels fine,” Olsen said. “No pain at all.”

Righty Charlie Morton threw two solid innings Feb. 26 against the Rays. Morton probably will make at least one more start before Olsen gets in a game. Whoever doesn’t get the final open starter’s job will almost certainly go to the bullpen. “All my conversations with Clint (Hurdle) and Neal (Huntington) have been about starting,” Olsen said. “The bullpen hasn’t come up. Maybe it will later; I don’t know.”

The Pirates don’t have a heavy lefty presence in the pen, especially if Joe Beimel’s tender forearm lingers — at this point, there’s every indication Beimel should miss just a couple of days, but it’s hard to say for sure because the Pirates are being very, very hush-hush about doling out info about any injuries.

»»» The forecast today calls for off and on rain. The tarp is on the field now and the Pirates are not taking outdoor batting practice. The weather is not expected to affect the game.

»»» Ross Ohlendorf will pitch the first two innings tomorrow against the Twins. The righty will be followed by Tony Watson (two innings), Joel Hanrahan, Jose Veras, Mike Crotta and Chris Leroux (one inning apiece).

Lineups for this afternoon’s game:

Yankees – 1. Brett Gardner lf, 2. Nick Swisher rf, 3. Curtis Granderson cf, 4. Jorge Posada dh, 5. Eric Chavez 3b, 6. Jesus Montero c, 7. Eduardo Nunez ss, 8. Brandon Laird 1b, 9. Ramiro Pena 2b. RHP Phil Hughes.

Pirates – 1. Alex Presley cf, 2. John Bowker lf, 3. Matt Diaz rf, 4. Garrett Jones dh, 5. Garrett Atkins 1b, 6. Andy Marte 3b, 7. Chris Snyder c, 8. Josh Rodriguez 2b, 9. Pedro Ciriaco ss. RHP James McDonald