Olsen, Chico throw in intrasquad game

Olsen, Chico throw in intrasquad game

VIERA, Fla. -- Nationals left-handers Scott Olsen and Matt Chico pitched in Minor League intrasquad games Thursday, and both had fine outings.

They each pitched four innings, and while Chico didn't allow a run, Olsen gave up one unearned run. They pitched at the Minor League complex because the Major League team had the day off.

Olsen's fastball was clocked as high as 86 mph, which was slower than what he threw Saturday against the Astros. That day, Olsen threw 88 mph.

Olsen, who is expected to be in the rotation on Opening Day, said after Thursday's game that he threw the baseball without any pain. He continues to say that he needs to build arm strength. Olsen missed the second half of last season because of left shoulder surgery.

The velocity didn't concern Olsen.

"I'm really not worried about that, but it's 10 in the morning," he said. "We have our own guys in there. It's hard to get up for days like today. But there is no pain, so I feel good where I'm at."

In his last start against the Astros on Saturday, Chico was hit hard, allowing six runs -- five earned -- in one-plus innings. But Thursday was a different story as he gave up two hits and didn't walk a batter. He threw 46 pitches, 19 of them in the first inning.

Chico wasn't available for comment.

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.