LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers infielder Hector Olivera will play his first professional game on Thursday with the Double-A Tulsa Drillers, the team announced on Wednesday.
The Drillers host the Midland RockHounds (Athletics) on Thursday night at 5:05 p.m. PT, with right-hander Tim Atherton on the hill for Midland.
Olivera officially signed with the Dodgers on May 19, inking a six-year, $62.5 million contract. After spending two weeks at the club's facility at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Ariz. working out and getting back in baseball shape, Olivera will open one level higher than originally planned.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said when Olivera was signed that the plan was for Olivera to follow Arizona with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga for roughly a week before heading to Triple-A Oklahoma City. But when the club traded Juan Uribe in part to help create roster space for Olivera, Friedman updated that plan.
"He has the potential to be a middle of the order bat. We're viewing him through the lens of what's right for Hector right now," Friedman said last week. "We're going to let his timeline dictate itself."
Olivera is expected to play both third base and second base with Tulsa. So far this season, those positions have been mostly occupied by Daniel Mayora — hitting .264/.300/.365 with two home runs in 43 games — and Brandon Dixon — hitting .260/.276/.385 with four home runs in 46 games — respectively.