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Don't expect Dodgers to call up Hector Olivera soon

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Photo: David Hood | True Blue LA

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers try to end their four-game losing streak to the Giants on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium, though one person they won't have this weekend - or any time soon, it seems - is infielder Hector Olivera.

Olivera had four hits on Friday, is hitting .444/.444/.667 in six games with Triple-A Oklahoma City, and .388/.423/.571 in 12 minor league games overall. Mark Saxon of ESPN, for one, said it's time for the Dodgers to call up Olivera.

The idea isn't without merit, in that Olivera isn't a prospect and, at 30, is more of a finished product, and one in whom the Dodgers invested $62.5 million over six years. But there are two problems in thinking Olivera is the immediate solution to solve the offensive woes for the Dodgers, who have averaged 3.21 runs per game in their last 33 contests.

One is that Olivera, who has been playing third base and second base for OKC, would most likely play third most often for the Dodgers, which takes playing time away from Justin Turner, the team's hottest hitter, on a 20-start hitting streak of his own and hitting .329/.396/.546 on the season.

Olivera could also mix in time at second base, taking time away from Howie Kendrick, or Turner could play shortstop more regularly, not the ideal solution given the club's priority on defense, even if Turner would be a large upgrade over Jimmy Rollins on offense.

"Trying to find a mixture for our guys is going to be important," manager Don Mattingly said Saturday.

The other issue is that Olivera is coming off over a year of baseball inactivity. This time in the minors is his spring training, getting in as many game reps as he can.

"Olivera has been swinging the bat well, but there's been no indication he's coming tomorrow or the next day," Mattingly said. "We still feel there's baseball left to play for him to get in shape, to get his legs underneath him. He hasn't played in a while.

"It's not as easy as showing up after playing 10-12 games and feeling like you're ready to go. He still has a little ways to go as far as being ready, then we'll see where we're at."

Game info

Time: 4:15 p.m. PT

TV: SportsNet LA