Miami Marlins Week 11: A Bail, A Bloody Glove & Bad Backs
Third-string catcher Miguel Olivo bailed on the Marlins this week, leaving after batting practice before Friday night’s win over the St Louis Cardinals. According to several reports, Olivo had repeatedly asked the front office for his release, but the Miami Marlins have refused to do so. The team, in turn, placed Olivo, batting .203 with four homers and nine RBI, on the restricted list, which means they don’t have to pay him. Big shock.
“I told them I wanted to be released and they wouldn’t give it to me,” said Olivo. “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 … If I’m not doing nothing, I don’t understand why they keep me doing nothing.”
“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,” Marlins skipper Mike Redmond said.
The light-hitting Olivo was brought in at the end of Spring Training, well after back-up catcher Jeff Mathis broke his collarbone. Olivo served as the primary back-up to rookie catcher Rob Brantly, but remained with the team once the lighter-hitting Mathis returned from injury. Mathis is hitting a robust .122, but to his credit, he is a plus defender behind the plate and has called great games for young pitchers like Jacob Turner and Jose Fernandez.
The team has no use for Olivo, so the move to place him on the restricted list and not pay him smacks of spite. Olivo would return nothing of consequence in the trade market, and, at 34-years old, he’s not a piece to build with. This seems like another botched decision that will bring more negative PR to the club. Just cut him and be done with it.
During the game in which Olivo bailed on the team, something else strange happened. Manager Mike Redmond emerged from the dugout when a play involving utility-man Ed Lucas was called a foul-tip rather than a Hit-By-Pitch. Lucas had squared around to bunt, but Cardinals pitcher Jake Westbrook’s sinker struck Lucas in the right hand. Plate umpire Phil Cuzzi initially called it a foul-tip. The following is from Joe Frisaro’s Fish Pond blog:
Initially, Cuzzi believed Lucas fouled the ball off. But replays clearly showed the pitch struck Lucas’ right hand.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond came out to discuss the situation with the home plate umpire.
Lucas removed his batting glove, revealing a slight tear of the skin and some blood.
“There was a little cut there, and it was bleeding,” Redmond said. “It wasn’t a tough sell.”
With visible proof, Cuzzi awarded Lucas first base.
“He says, ‘Ok, I’ll give it to you,’ ” Redmond said of his conversation with the umpire.
Miguel Olivo’s bailing on the Fish had potentially compromised the team for that Friday night contest against the Cards. With Olivo gone, Mike Redmond found his bench suddenly very thin, as Logan Morrison continued to sit with a sore back. The word is Morrison should return to the lineup in a day or two, but the news isn’t so good regarding Chris Coghlan’s back.
Coghlan was recently placed on the 15-day DL with a right calf strain, but when the former Rookie of the Year went in for an MRI, the test results revealed a strained back.
“I was a little bit surprised it was a little more serious than what I thought,” Coghlan said. “I thought I’d be back in two weeks, and I don’t think it’s looking like that so far.”