Miguel Olivo has asked the Dodgers for a release, after the club told him he would not be making the flight to Sydney late Sunday afternoon. The veteran catcher was offered a minor league assignment, which he refused. So Olivo will pack his bags and look for work elsewhere. Such is the life of a non-roster player, never in one place for very long.
Olivo is used to bouncing around a lot, the Dodgers are his eighth MLB organization he’s joined, and his next club will make his ninth. Olivo is a 12-year MLB veteran right handed hitting catcher from the Dominican. Olivo has 145 career home runs, and is a .241 career MLB hitter. Olivo has played in over 1,100 career MLB games, but only played in 33 last season with the Marlins.
What this really means is that Olivo lost out to the battle with Drew Butera for the third string catcher position. The Dodgers will be taking a third catcher with them to Sydney, and this decision appears to have gone in Butera’s favor. I wonder if his meaningless spring solo home run the other day against the Cubs contributed to the factoring.
I have to ask myself, is Butera really any better than Olivo? You should be asking the same question too. I mean neither of these guys are Roy Campanellas’ here, but Butera has never even cracked the Mendoza line in his brief MLB career. Don’t get me wrong, Butera is one of the nicest guys you would ever meet. A class act all the way. But again, just because he is a nice guy, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t say that he sucks, or can’t hit. Which is true. Anyways, Butera has never hit above .197, and at least Olivo has some power. After all Olivo slugged 12 home runs in 2012, and 19 home runs in 2011. Olivo has the occasional pop. He’s kind of like the poor-man’s Rod Barajas. The veteran backstop was batting a nondescript .263 (5 for 19) with three runs driven in, while getting 20 plate appearances in nine games this spring. While Butera is only hitting .200 this spring, he’s got the home run, and the dreamy looks of a below replacement level player.
Of course there is another aspect to all of this. Butera is out of options. If Butera isn’t added to the 40-man roster, then the Dodgers have to clear him through waivers first before he could be sent back down. I can’t imagine anyone wanting or claiming him, but I guess anything is possible.
Not surprisingly the Dodgers are going to choose the longer tenured player who is out of options. Regardless of analysis, or silliness, A.J. Ellis, Tim Federowicz, and Drew Butera will be the three catchers flying to Australia on Sunday afternoon. I’ve already written more then I ever intended to about Olivo, and Butera.