Olivo walks out, placed on restricted list
MIAMI -- Catcher Miguel Olivo left the Marlins after batting practice Friday without permission and has been placed on the team's restricted list, halting his pay.
Outfielder Jordan Brown was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans to fill Olivo's roster spot. Olivo's locker now belongs to Logan Morrison.
While the team didn't make an official statement on Olivo's reasons for leaving, Miami manager Mike Redmond speculated that the catcher was unhappy with his playing time. Olivo had made only 17 plate appearances since May 16 -- the night Jeff Mathis made his season debut.
According to Redmond, Olivo did not ask to be traded. But the team could still try to work out a trade for the veteran catcher.
"I know it wasn't an ideal situation for him not getting to play a lot, but at the same time too, the team relies on you, and we all rely on you," Redmond said. "Had that happened after the game, it would have been probably a different situation.
"When you do it before the game and put your team in a tough spot, that's tough. It's tough on your teammates and your coaches and everyone. It's just not a good situation at all. You'd have to ask him really why he chose that time to do it."
"I told them I wanted to be released and they wouldn't give it to me," Olivo said Saturday in a phone interview with the Miami Herald. "I don't understand why they don't release me. I told them I wanted to be released because I have 30 days of not playing. I need to play."
Olivo's sudden departure left the Marlins shorthanded in Friday's 5-4 win against the Cardinals. Placido Polanco and Morrison were day to day with back issues, leaving only Justin Ruggiano and Rob Brantly as options off the bench.
"We were short. We were light last night," Redmond said. "We really got put in a tough spot. It's definitely not a situation we ever want to be in.
"You're always shocked. I've never been involved with something like that when you have somebody just leave after batting practice. I think everyone was kind of in shock."
Olivo signed with Miami on March 28 to serve as Brantly's backup until Mathis returned from a broken collarbone suffered on Feb. 23.
The veteran's contract is a one-year deal worth $800,000.
The 34-year-old backstop appeared in 22 of the Marlins' first 40 games, tallying 15 starts. He batted .186 with three home runs and five RBIs in 62 plate appearances.
Mathis was recalled from a rehab assignment and reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on May 14, but did not make his first appearance until May 16. He started at catcher and finished 0-for-4 in a 5-3 loss to the Reds.
The Marlins held onto Olivo when Mathis returned, but rarely played him in the next 25 games. Olivo had only 17 plate appearances after May 16, but he made the most of his limited time, batting .267 (4-for-15) with one home run and four RBIs. His one start since May 16 came as the designated hitter in a 4-3 loss to the White Sox on May 24. He finished 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly.
Mathis has made 38 plate appearances in 11 starts since May 16.