3/27 Olt makes Opening Day roster

Mike Olt knew from the first pitch he saw in live batting practice that his vision problems were over. On Thursday, he found out he was going to be on the Cubs’ Opening Day roster.

A first-round pick by the Rangers in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Olt began 2013 at Triple-A Round Rock, and was batting .139 on April 25 when he asked for some help. In November 2012, he was hit in the head while playing in the Dominican Republic winter league, and was having problems seeing. He’s overcome the vision problems, and battled a tender right shoulder this spring in camp.

“We’re excited for Mike,” GM Jed Hoyer said. “I think he’s proved himself here in Spring Training but he probably feels like he’s got a lot more to prove. This is the exhibition season and now we have to go play real games. I’m excited for him that he was able to come in here and do what he did in Spring Training.”

When did Olt know he was over his vision problems?

“First pitch of live BP,” he said. “Picking up the spin is just what I needed. Last year, I couldn’t pick up the spin. This year, I was able to see the ball and get a good curveball to hit instead of swinging at something in the dirt. I was happy with the swings I’ve made this spring training. Even my strikeouts have been some of my best at-bats.”

Getting the news was a bit of redemption.

“I worked hard this offseason coming from last year,” he said. “It was a tough year. I think it made me a better player, a better person. Just a little bump in the road. I know what I’m capable of doing. I’m just happy I was able to come here and do my job.

“I was extremely excited [at the news]. Just to get an opportunity like this is something that every kid dreams about. Now that it’s really true, I haven’t had time to really sit back and think about it, but it’s something that I’ll never forget.”

He hopes to be able to play every day but the Cubs will monitor his shoulder.

Olt is excited about what he’s seen in Cubs camp so far.

“Theo and Jed have a plan going for the Cubs,” Olt said. “Just listening to it, you get goosebumps with what they’re trying to do. To be a part of that is definitely something special.”

– Carrie Muskat

7 Comments

If its Mike at Third…….it “Olt” to be good!

I saw much of today`s contest. It was a struggle listening to Harrelson pontificate. What a homer this miscreant is! I actually like Steve Stone, but is hard to tolerate him as a White Sox shill. One of those two dudes said Olt is the starting third sacker with Cubs. I did not read that here. I read here that Olt made the club and no more. Can someone clarify that matter for myself? I like what I saw of Bonafacio. Speed on the basepaths is always more than welcome. I surely understand what Wood means when he suggests it`s time for these meaningless spring training games to terminate. We fans are fed up with them, just as you athletes are. Let`s get to the games which count. The Dodgers and Snakes did so last week.

Aloha CubsTalk and jhosk-I was happy to hear too that Olt made the opening day roster. Over at that the Tribune, reporter Mark Gonzales says that Olt will get most of the playing time at 3rd. I liked Steve Stone too and I know he was frustrated with Dusty Baker and some of his managerial style, it was too bad that he could not separate out his job from his opinion. Anyhow, good news and hope Olt can stay healthy for the season. Mahalo!

Thanks for that, k.g. We can have legitimate expectations of power numbers from our hot corner guy.

Olt making the team, makes the line-up much stronger. My hope like some others, is he hits behind Rizzo. Like Rizzo, Olt will take a walk. Rizzo will see better pitches for that reason.
Soriano would not walk much, then after Soriano there was not a Bat like Olt’s in the line up.
Having two guys in the middle who have a decent OBP will really put some pressure on the Pitcher. Should be fun to watch that LH/RH combo. Real pressure will occur often if Castro hits and Bonifacio gets on a lot. I really like that top 4, especially with Bonifacio’s speed.

Aloha Jasper- Yes, small ball with some power is wonderful! My wife’s SF Giants did well with this in the past 4yrs. But back in the early 2000’s they also did when they had Jeff Kent, Benito Santiago and Bonds. Because of placement in the lineup, it gave pitchers fits and as you stated, they all got to see better pitches because if you do not pitch to one you still have two others you need to get through. The team had others that also produced because of it. As you state if Castro can come around to complement Rizzo-Olt-Bonifacio I believe those on the lower part of the batting order will also see better pitches too. Even if the team “only” wins so many games, this will be an exciting season as they all grow together. I really want them as a team to have chemistry and bond with one another, so during the tough periods they lift up one another, have each others back. It is “easier” when one is winning but it is times like this that will build their character and propel them forth. Have a great Aloha Friday! Mahalo!

Way to go Mike! Well deserved. Can’t wait for Monday.

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