Tyler Olson did not allow an earned run over 30 appearances (20 innings) for the Indians in 2017. His skills are good -- 8.1 K/9, 2.7 BB/9, 0.00 HR/9 -- but the home-run rate in particular is an outlier compared to his body of work in the upper level of the minors and and at other minor-league stops. Olson doesn't throw hard, but he was used as a starter earlier in his career, so he mixes three pitches as a reliever effectively, including a high-80s fastball, a curveball, and a changeup. At a minimum, he'll continue to get chances to keep opposing lefty bats quiet, as he limited lefties to a .158/.244/.216 line last season. If he continues to get the bulk of his outs on the ground, it's reasonable to think that Olson has the potential earn big-league paychecks as a steady middle reliever for years to come.
Olson threw a scoreless ninth inning against the Angels on Thursday to earn his first career save. Regular closer Cody Allen had a scheduled off day and Andrew Miller pitched the seventh, leaving Olson to protect a three-run lead in the ninth. He converted with ease and is now up to 26 appearances without an earned run allowed this season. The lefty specialist could find himself pitching in some key spots in the postseason.
Olson retired the only batter he faced Wednesday against the Tigers to pick up his sixth hold of the campaign. The left-handed specialist has now secured a hold in five of his last six appearances -- four of which required him to get just one out. Olson continues to own a flawless 0.00 ERA through 21 games (13.2 innings) this season, and he's done a fine job picking up some of the load left by Andrew Miller (knee). That said, Miller is due back this week, and Olson's high-leverage opportunities are likely to subside at that time.
Olson has yet to allow a run through a career-high 14 appearances for the Indians this season. The 27-year-old owns an impressive 13:3 K:BB and 1.10 WHIP through 10 innings. Manager Terry Francona has entrusted the left-hander with some medium-leverage opportunities over the past month, so Olson has a chance sneak a few holds under his belt in the short term while Andrew Miller (knee) is sidelined.
Olson is expected to take on a sizeable role as the team's left-handed specialist now that Boone Logan (lat) has been moved to the 60-day DL, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports. Olson dominated left-handed hitters in 34 appearances for Triple-A Columbus this year, holding that group to a .125 (9-for-71) average. Overall, the 27-year-old posted a 3.21 ERA with an impressive 11.6 K/9 through 42 innings for the Clippers.
Olson was recalled from Triple-A Columbus on Monday. With Josh Tomlin (hamstring) moving to the disabled list, Olson will head back to the majors to provide some bullpen help to the big-league club. In two appearances with Cleveland, the left-hander didn't allow a run and struck out one batter in an inning of work.