The Los Angeles Dodgers announced Friday Cuban infielder Hector Olivera was promoted from Double-A Tulsa to Triple-A Oklahoma City. It comes only eight days after Olivera made his professional debut with the Drillers and on the same day the Dodgers made other roster moves by acquiring infielder Ronald Torreyes from the Toronto Blue Jays and designating Darwin Barney for assignment.
Since officially signing Olivera to a six-year, $62.5 million contract May 19, the Dodgers have maintained the Cuban infielder would not be rushed down the road to making his MLB debut, which is expected to come this season. The Cuban defector was sent to work out at the Dodgers’ Spring Training complex in Arizona before embarking on his Minor-League career, which initially was expected to begin with High-A Rancho Cucamonga.
In the six games Olivera spent with the Drillers, he hit .318/.400/.455 (7-for-22) with one home run, six RBIs, five strikeouts and one walk; he made his lone home run count, slugging a grand slam in his fourth game. Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi both reaffirmed at the Dodgers All Access event on Thursday the focus for Olivera is getting him comfortable in a new environment.
Additionally, the 30 year old needs his share of at-bats to get his timing down after not playing for over one year. During his 10-year career in the Cuban National Series, Olivera batted .323/.407/.505 with 96 home runs and 433 RBIs.
The OKC Dodgers face Triple-A Nashville, affiliate of the Oakland Athletics, at 5:05 p.m. PT on Friday. Olivera was not listed in the starting lineup.