GLENDALE -- Miguel Olivo comes into camp with 1,041 games caught, nearly 4,000 plate appearances and 10 years of service time. In five of those seasons Olivo had 416 or more plate appearances and as recently as 2011, he had his career high of 512 plate appearances and 120 game starts as a catcher.
But in 2013, he had a career low 15 starts as a catcher and only 80 plate appearances in the season. Olivo was very vocal about his lack of playing time and asked for his release but the Marlins decided to put him first on the restricted list in June before releasing him July.
"I think you cannot compare Miami to any team," Olivo said. "Everybody knows. They aren't the greatest. But I'm happy to be with the Dodgers."
Manager Don Mattingly spoke about the back up catcher position on Saturday, "I think it's still competitive, but we know what we have and we're comfortable with where we were at last year. Fed has continued to step forward."
Mattingly also spoke about the catching position in general, "catching to me is so much intangibles. It's probably the biggest spot on the field that intangibles really come in to play, with a guy that's got leadership, who will study, who will be unselfish as it's a lot harder to hit when having to focus on pitching and calling the game."
Mattingly concluded that while the team is ready to go ahead with what they had in 2013, he is also looking at the other catchers including Olivo, that are in camp, "we're happy with Fed's progress, him and A.J. with how they work together. That being said, we've got some nice looking guys in camp who are veterans and are fighting to show us what they can do too."
For Olivo, who lives in Oakdale, Calif., he's happy for the opportunity to be back in California.
"I'm here to do my best and maybe I win the job. I don't know. They want me for some reason," Olivo said. "I'm going to do my best, and give 100%."
Miguel Olivo has eight seasons of 12 or more home runs including seven seasons in a row (2006-2012).
Miguel Olivo signed a minor league contract with an invitation to big league camp.
|2014 projections - Age 35 season|
The Dodgers appear to be set at the MLB level with Ellis and Federowicz, the question is who between Butera or Olivo will accept a job a AAA as the first catcher to be called up if and when he is needed. For now, I will say Olivo gets 30 PA with 1 HR in the majors in 2014. For what team, I do not know.