As they did with veteran utility man Chone Figgins, the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Miguel Olivo to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
Olivo was coming off a tumultuous year with the Miami Marlins as he appeared in 33 games before becoming frustrated with his role and asking to be released. The Marlins initially didn’t oblige, but relented one month later and Olivo was released.
Olivo didn’t make the travel roster for the Dodgers’ Opening Series in Australia and rather than accept a Minor League assignment, he asked to be released. The veteran catcher wound up reporting to Triple-A Albuquerque and was promoted in April.
The 36-year-old immediately provided the Dodgers with much-needed offensive production at the catcher’s position — hitting .417 with two RBIs in his first three games. He then tailed off and was optioned back to the Minors.
It was with the Isotopes that Olivo made headlines for all the wrong reasons. Olivo and teammate Alex Guerrero got into an altercation that resulted in the catcher biting off a portion of Guerrero’s ear.
Guerrero underwent surgery and endured a lengthy recovery that stifled his development this season and Olivo was released two days after the incident.
While Olivo was promoted from the Minors April 30, he didn’t see the field with the Dodgers until the following day. He started at catcher in the first game of a doubleheader and didn’t disappoint.
After a throwing error in the first inning allowed the Minnesota Twins to score a second run, Olivo drew a walk in his first at-bat, which came the following inning. He then scored on Yasiel Puig’s RBI double that gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead.
Then in the seventh, Olivo’s RBI single extended the lead to 7-4 and he drove in another run in the ninth on a sacrifice fly. Olivo finished the game 2-for-3 with two RBIs and one run scored.
After being released by the Dodgers, the veteran signed with a team in the Mexican League and given his dust-up with Guerrero, a return to the Majors next season may be in doubt.
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