Olivo making quick impact with Dodgers
MIAMI -- After only three days, journeyman catcher Miguel Olivo has already given the Dodgers "a presence," manager Don Mattingly said.
Olivo did not start Sunday after catching the first two games against the Marlins, his team last season. He went 3-for-9 with a triple and three runs scored.
That kind of offense, Mattingly said, would likely give Olivo a little more playing time at the position than platoonmate Drew Butera. Olivo also caught Sunday starter Stephen Fife at Triple-A Albuquerque, but Mattingly said he chose Butera because "he's more used to our system" of attacking hitters.
Olivo left the Marlins in the middle of last season, frustrated that playing time was going to young catcher Rob Brantly. He asked for his release and eventually got it, only for Brantly to be sent back to the Minor Leagues shortly after. Olivo went to his Central California home and sat out the second half of the season, signed a Minor League contract with the Dodgers and played the first month this year at Triple-A Albuquerque.
"I think I made a little mistake," said Olivo. "Yesterday I saw the owner [Jeffrey Lurie] and a couple of coaches, I told them I apologized and all that happened is history. Everything is over, they said, 'OK, fine.'"
Playing time could get squeezed again for Olivo when A.J. Ellis returns from knee surgery. Ellis has resumed running and said his leg feels better than it has at any point of his rehab. Plus, Tim Federowicz is in Triple-A and still figures in the club's long-range plans.
"The reason I signed a Minor League deal, I wanted to come back and show people I'm in position to play," he said. "Now that I'm back here, it's the only thing that matters to me right now. I'm healthy and hungry to play and show people."