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Cuban infielder Olivera climbs ranks to Triple-A

Dodgers promote 30-year-old to Oklahoma City after six games at Tulsa

SAN DIEGO -- The Dodgers on Friday promoted Cuban infielder Hector Olivera from Double-A Tulsa to Triple-A Oklahoma City, putting him one step from joining the Major League club.

The 30-year-old Olivera signed a six-year, $62.5 million contract, reported to extended spring training, then played in six games for Tulsa, four at third base and two at second base, hitting .318.

The Dodgers will not say what role is envisioned for Olivera in Los Angeles, but Howie Kendrick seems entrenched at second base in the last year of his contract.

Since the trade of Juan Uribe, the Dodgers have used a rotation of Justin Turner, Alberto Callaspo and Alex Guerrero at third base.

Manager Don Mattingly said Olivera will remain with OKC "until everybody feels like he's ready," but his short stay at Tulsa indicates he'll be a Dodger sooner than later. And when he's promoted, Mattingly again will have a surplus of infielders.

"I'm not really that worried about it," he said. "If he can hit and do his thing, we'll figure it out. Days off are good for guys. Howie gets four days off [with a knee injury] and he comes back and looks different. Give multiple guys days off and it has real value."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for
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