05/29/10 3:13 AM ET
Gwynn eagerly awaits Strasburg's debut
Righty's former college coach hopes to attend big day
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com
Maxwell optioned; Martin called up
SAN DIEGO -- Following Friday's 5-3 victory over the Padres, the Nationals optioned outfielder Justin Maxwell to Triple-A Syracuse and called up right-hander J.D. Martin, who will start Saturday against San Diego.
Maxwell, 26, was 4-for-33 (.121) with one home run, three RBIs and two stolen bases.
Martin last pitched Saturday for Syracuse and will face the Padres on six days' rest. For the season, Martin is 2-1 with a 2.97 ERA for Syracuse.
Strasburg holding own as a hitter
SAN DIEGO -- Entering Friday's action, Nationals right-handed prospect Stephen Strasburg was 3-for-8 with four RBIs. Padres broadcaster and San Diego State coach Tony Gwynn is often credited for teaching Strasburg how to hit.However, Gwynn would not let Strasburg go to the plate while at San Diego State because the coach didn't want the student to get hit by a pitched ball. "I take a lot heat for that," Gwynn said. "But I told him his junior year that if he would get 10 wins, I would let him hit. I wasn't going to let people take a free shot at him. He had to stick to batting practice and pitcher's BP. He's an athlete. That's the thing about him that people don't recognize. If he had to shoot jumpers, he could so it. He fields his position really good. He has baseball savvy. The success he is having is not surprising."
Olsen to resume throwing on Saturday
SAN DIEGO -- Nationals left-hander Scott Olsen said he will play catch on Saturday after resting his left shoulder for seven days. Olsen has missed a start because of left shoulder tightness.Olsen said he is feeling much better and hopes to be throwing in the bullpen soon. On May 21 against the Orioles, Olsen pitched three innings, allowing four runs on six hits, one of them a two-run homer to Adam Jones in the second inning. An inning later, he allowed a two-run single to Craig Tatum. Olsen was scheduled to hit in the bottom of the third inning, but Livan Hernandez came in as a pinch-hitter and struck out. Olsen, who is 2-2 with a 3.77 ERA in eight starts for the Nationals, will most likely pitch in a rehab assignment before being activated from the disabled list.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.