Olsen will take the mound for the Nationals against his former team when they continue a three-game road series against the Florida Marlins on Tuesday night.
Washington (0-1) and Florida (1-0) made a five-player deal in November, with Olsen and outfielder Josh Willingham going to the Nationals in exchange for infielder Emilio Boniface and minor leaguers Jake Smolinski and P.J. Dean.
Olsen went 31-37 with a 4.63 ERA over four seasons for Florida, including 8-11 with a 4.20 ERA in 33 starts last season. He signed a $2.8 million, one-year contract with the Nationals.
The 25-year-old left-hander, who also faced the Marlins in spring training, insists he won’t let his emotions get the best of him Tuesday.
“You have relationships with the guys, but once you’re on the field, it’s business as usual,” Olsen said. “It’s going to be a typical game.”
Olsen pitched effectively at Dolphins Stadium last season with the Marlins, going 6-6 with a 3.11 ERA. He was just 2-5 with a 5.58 ERA in 15 road starts.
“I just remember him being a great teammate to me, and being a great friend to me,” Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla told MLB.com. “We had a lot of fun times, a lot of memories with him, so I was sad to see him go in the trade this offseason.”
November’s trade has already had an impact on both clubs after Boniface’s huge game for Florida on Monday. The third baseman went 4-for-5 with an inside-the-park home run - the first on opening day since 1968 - in a 12-6 victory.
Bonifacio also stole three bases and scored all four times he reached.
“Good for him,” Nationals manager Manny Acta said. “He deserves a lot. He’s not only a great kid, but he also works hard and has a lot of abilities.”
Hanley Ramirez hit one of four homers for Florida and drove in five runs. The Marlins, not accustomed to having much support in the stands, enjoyed the atmosphere of playing in front of 34,323 fans on opening day.
“It was a playoff-type atmosphere,” right fielder Cody Ross said. “We don’t get to experience that very often. We gave them a good showing. If I was a fan and this was one of the few games I’d been to, I’d definitely want to come back and watch the Marlins play. It was a lot of fun.”
Josh Johnson (7-1, 3.61) will get the ball for Florida on Tuesday, beginning the season in the rotation for the first time. He missed the first three months of 2008 after Tommy John surgery.
His only previous experience opening a year on the active roster was with Houston in 2006.
“I love it up in Jupiter (for spring training), but … I’ve been through one opening day - in Houston,” Johnson told the Marlins’ official Web site. That’s pretty cool, something you remember.”
The 25-year-old right-hander is 3-0 with a 3.12 ERA in five career games - four starts - against the Nationals.