Olivo up, Rivera down, black white, day night

DMZ · June 28, 2005 at 3:31 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Miguel Olivo, who is hitting not-quite-as-badly as when he was sent down, has been recalled according to this baffling press release on MLB.com. Rene Rivera’s been sent down.

Now, whether this is temporary and they’ll make another move when Wiki’s ready (in a health sense there, reserving judgement about his true talent level).

Borders, 68 AB: .221/.260/.294
Gonzalez, 16 AB: .375/.375/.625
Olivo, 110 AB: .145/.174/.236
Rivera, 33 AB: .364/.382/.545
Wilson, 27 AB: .185/.214/.185

This has been a weird year.


87 Responses to “Olivo up, Rivera down, black white, day night”

  1. David J Corcoran on June 28th, 2005 5:45 pm

    But at the PRESENT MOMENT he is hitting, so why not let him keep hitting up here until he doesn’t? I know that Rivera is not some future all-star catcher, but if the guy is hitting, why not keep him up until he stops? It’s not like we have anyone better who is waiting right now. Olivo could’ve afforded to stay in AAA for another week while Rivera starts to cool off.

  2. Cool Papa Bell on June 28th, 2005 5:51 pm

    At this present moment? Those 33 at bats are spread out over one month. This isn’t even a hot streak. It’s a scattering of hits over a 4 week period.

  3. David J Corcoran on June 28th, 2005 5:57 pm

    Which to me shows that he could only do better if playing everyday.

  4. roger tang on June 28th, 2005 5:58 pm

    Morse is hot. Rivera????? I dunno, I think it’s worth more to send him down NOW, on a high note and a little confidence, so he can work on things on a daily basis.

  5. Cool Papa Bell on June 28th, 2005 5:58 pm

    Yes, just like Willie Bloomquist.

  6. David J Corcoran on June 28th, 2005 6:09 pm

    54: Now that’s a good point that I hadn’t thought of.

  7. Pete Livengood on June 28th, 2005 6:15 pm

    Dave – Glad to see you qualify the “not a major league hitter” with “right now.” While I agree with you about the value of minor league stats, I also think a lot can change about a player between, say, 20 and 24. That’s not to say that I disagree with your analysis about Rivera RIGHT NOW, but I have to say I’m more with DMZ about how tantalizing strange the timing and logic of this is.

  8. Jake on June 28th, 2005 6:16 pm

    If it’s any consolation, Miguel isn’t in the starting L tonight.

  9. Jim Osmer on June 28th, 2005 6:16 pm

    I just worry that Olivo’s time away will have been too short and useless much like the Pineiro downtime.

    Wonder how they will split the playing time. After a hot start (from a W-L perspective not hitting), Borders has cooled off. Borders is not much at the plate or throwing guys out.

    Did Wiki’s hamstring ruin his chance to reclaim his career? Does he get another chance with us?

  10. Jim Osmer on June 28th, 2005 6:21 pm

    Doyle is playing tonight though. Whew.

  11. DMZ on June 28th, 2005 6:37 pm

    Did Wiki’s hamstring ruin his chance to reclaim his career?

    Wiki has a career? Not to be mean, but if you put Wiki’s career on a luggage carousel, nobody on the team charter’s going to be claiming it.

  12. Mycroft on June 28th, 2005 6:39 pm

    Has anyone heard whether Olivo is going to be made the regular ahead of Borders? If not, this seems even weirder. You’ve got a guy who *might* be getting his stroke back, and you’re going to take him out of a situation where he has a chance to establish a groove, and put him on the bench 4 or 5 days a week?

    The only scenarios I can think of that make any sense are:
    A) Borders is wearing down and they feel that Rivera can’t handle being #1.
    B) God is good and they really are showcasing him for a trade. In this case, I’ve just become his biggest fan.
    C) They made some ill-advised commitment to him that’s forcing them to call him up.

    If it’s just a matter of his showing some improvement, I’d much rather that he stay down until he’s really turned it around.

  13. Jim Thomsen on June 28th, 2005 6:51 pm

    I don’t disagree with Dave about Rene Rivera, but this Hargrorve quote from AP baffles me:

    “The reason we sent Rene out was to work on his defensive abilities and separate his hitting from his catching,” Hargrove said. “The more his [b]hitting woes[/b] went on, it affected him behind the plate. His focus would wander. … He’d done everything we asked and more. He did enough to show us he can be a No. 1 guy. To achieve that as quickly as possible, he needs to play every day.”

    Methinks he was talking about Miguel.

  14. Jake S. on June 28th, 2005 7:00 pm

    I just can’t take this S*** anymore. The M’s will not play the better player. ie WFB over any of the AAA outfielders.

  15. bill on June 28th, 2005 7:08 pm

    Methinks he was talking about Miguel.

    He was. I heard him say that exact same thing on the pregame show where he stated that they wanted Rivera to play every day and continue to develop rather than getting into a game just once a week.

  16. Ralph Malph on June 28th, 2005 7:11 pm

    You mean they won’t play WFB in Tacoma over the other AAA outfielders? I don’t get it.

  17. Nate on June 28th, 2005 7:48 pm

    My concern is less about Rivera than about whether Olivo really has fixed anything and is ready for a call-up. I think that’s the real issue hear. If Miguel had been hitting the snot out of the AAA ball for some time, people wouldn’t be so upset at sending Rivera down.

    Regarding Wiki’s return and roster moves: Wiki started the year off the 40-man roster; to promote him to the big leagues, he needed to be added to the 40-man roster, then promoted to the big leage 25-man roster, for all intents and purposes. So when he returns, he will likely be DFA’d off the 40-man roster. Players that are out of option years can’t be taken off the 25-man roster at all(Matt Thornton) without clearing waivers, but any player that is taken off the 40-man roster, whether they are in the minors or not, has to clear waivers.

  18. Nate on June 28th, 2005 7:49 pm

    By the way, are we going to get an updated Big Board some time?

  19. AK1984 on June 28th, 2005 7:57 pm

    Re. #64:

    Yeah, Willie Bloomquist is worse than all four of the outfielders in Tacoma: Shin-Soo Choo, Jamal Strong, Doyle, & Abraham Nuñez.

    Also, if the M’s decide to DFA Wiki Gonzalez once his rehabilitation assignment is done (as it is, how long are players allotted in their rehab’ assignments?), then he’ll likely just take the remainder of his $2.25 million contract for this season — along with his $250,000 buyout for 2006 — and leave.

  20. Mords on June 28th, 2005 8:27 pm

    68 We just did

  21. Nick on June 28th, 2005 8:36 pm

    Interesting quote from Hargrove:

    Jun. 28 The Mariners recalled Miguel Olivo (C) Sea from Triple-A Tacoma, according to the AP. He will serve as the back-up catcher to Pat Borders and will play once or twice every four or five days. Olivo hit .244 with three homers and 21 RBI for Tacoma.

  22. Rusty on June 28th, 2005 8:40 pm

    Catcher is a weird position. It seems important to have a good defensive catcher. One that doesn’t allow pass balls, etc. that can discourage a pitcher. Also one that the pitchers have confidence in as far as calling the game.

    The M’s seemed to do quite well when they had a lot of stability at the catcher position regardless of the individual catcher hitting stats. I’m thinking of the Wilson/Marzano years, and then the Wilson/Lampley years (or was it Lampbright or Lampeel).

    If Rene Rivera had any problems defensively, as Dave is asserting, then I think this is a big issue no matter what his averages were.

    I think we might see a 3 game Borders/2 games Olivo rotation until the end of the year or until the White Sox want to part with another signficant prospect to have Olivo back.

    I think this might be a good development for the club.

  23. isaac on June 28th, 2005 9:29 pm

    i am a fan, and id rather watch morse and rivera hit until they cool off- CONTRIBUTING TO WINS -regardless of how much longer it lasts, then watch olivo and “shortstop X” strike out. does the fact that rivera and morse hit like fringe prospects in the minors mean their mlb lines havent actually contributed to the ballclub? do the contributions they make NOW not count because they arent top prospects or didnt give similar contributions previously? when rivera was in the lineup, he produced outs less than 7/10 times and played better defense than miguel “he just got crossed up” olivo. how is that not worth a spot in the lineup? i cannot believe you would rather play the worst player in the league than a young kid whos been stinging the ball, and out defending the alternative just because the said kid wasnt supposed to be this good, or sustain his performance. are you choosing olivo out of principle? im not arguing for rivera over mike piazza in his prime, here. Im arguing for him in favor of a guy who has hit under .200 for almost an entire calendar year.

  24. Pete Livengood on June 28th, 2005 9:46 pm

    issac (#73) – The point of looking at stats is to try to predict *going forward* how a player will do. Dave’s just saying that for Rivera (and Morse), the great number of ABs they have accumulated in the minors is much more significant in predicting future performance than the 30-100 or so ABs players like this have in the majors. This is not a radical position, and regardless of what you think, it isn’t negativism.

    I am certain that Dave is as happy as any Mariner fan that Rene Rivera (and Mike Morse) has performed well in his time with the Big Club. He has no axe to grind with these players. It’s just that the purpose of what he does here is to try to analyze and predict FUTURE performance; Rivera’s (and Morse’s, to a lesser degree) minor league stats suggest they are not ready to perform at the MLB level over the long term, right now. Olivo has, over much longer periods of time in both the minors and in MLB, shown that he at least *was* capable of performing at the MLB level. Whether he has somehow lost that capability is another topic . . . but I think Dave’s logic is consistent and has nothing to do with most of what you talk about.

  25. Dead Ball Tim on June 28th, 2005 9:47 pm

    If you think we’re puzzled about Rivera going to AA, imagine what *he* is thinking!, “What do ya gotta DO to get a bigleague job?”

  26. Max on June 28th, 2005 10:14 pm

    In other M’s news, I watched Rafael Soriano pitch two innings for Everett tonight, in Spokane. He struck out 4, no hits, walked 1. According to the scoreboard radar he hit 93 mph a couple times, although by my observation those were always high balls. His strikes were usually in the 89-91 range.

  27. Man from Nantucket on June 28th, 2005 10:48 pm


    I was there too. It was great to see Raphy on the mound. His delivery looked very smooth and easy. He really overmatched the Spokane batters.

    John Mayberry Jr. hit an absolute missile of a line drive homerun in that game but his defense cost the home team a couple of runs.

  28. tede on June 28th, 2005 11:05 pm

    #77 Mayberry Jr. is already signed and PLAYING against the Baby M’s?? How ironic.

  29. Max on June 28th, 2005 11:08 pm

    re: 77 You’re right about Maberry, MfN, both in the line drive home run and the weak defense. He looks like a first baseman being converted into an outfielder. He’s been very shaky out there the last two games.

  30. Logan on June 29th, 2005 12:23 am

    I agree with Dave that based on a small amount of at bats that Rivera shouldn’t be labeled a great hitter or the future just yet (like Morse). What I have a big problem in the first place is the Bavasi decision to call up a 21 year old catching prospect to serve as the back up and rot on the bench to a non-hitting 42 year old catcher for so long. I have posted and called out for Rivera to start because I had lost faith in Olivo and I get sick when Borders is in the batter’s box. There are catchers like Posada and Varitek that posted weak minor league numbers like Rivera, and turned out to be MLB all-stars, but they are rare birds and I am also skeptical on Rivera’s future. The Choo comment caught my attention. Choo’s four year career minor league average was (.304 avg/.464 slg/.389 obp) before the start of this season. I think Choo should have been a MLB left fielder the start of 2005. Dave leave my top prospect out of this! 🙂

  31. DMZ on June 29th, 2005 2:05 am

    There are catchers like Posada and Varitek that posted weak minor league numbers like Rivera, and turned out to be MLB all-stars, but they are rare birds and I am also skeptical on Rivera’s future.

    Posada in Columbus, 1996: .271/~.407/.460. He also hit quite well in 1992 and 1993. His 94-95 seasons at Columbus aren’t that bad for a catcher… posting a .240/.315/.406 line at AAA while 22 and then improving substantially in two repeat seasons is not, at all, “weak”

    Varitek’s not particularly weak either. His 95 was bad, his 1996 was good for a catcher, and then in 97 he looked a little better and after that he was in the majors. His career minor league line has a little more patience, less avererage, and less power than his major league line, but he wasn’t stinking it up in the minors.

  32. Gary on June 29th, 2005 2:44 am

    I wonder how many players have ever been sent to the minors after their last at bat, which was a three-run home run that tied the game late in the game.

    I wonder if doing so is a particularly good idea, regardless of the talent level of the player. Let him show he can’t hit before you let him go–he’s learning a helluva lot more in the majors than he will in the minors. If the Mariners are starting to lose again, you might also give some thought to playing Rivera more than once a week. This isn’t Mickey Cochrane we’re bringing back up to the majors to replace him.

    And by the way, it isn’t 110 at bats we’re talking about, unless you don’t want to count what Olivo did last year after joining the Mariners. I hope the dude hits the crap out of the ball and picks flung balls out of the dirt like a starving squirrel after acorns, but he has already gone a long way to demonstrate that if he’s going to play well in the majors, it may well be with a team other than the Mariners.

  33. Nate on June 29th, 2005 6:33 am

    Not belabor the point, but the Big Board was last updated on April 2nd, nearly three months ago. #70, were you refering to the Future Forty?

    Where art thou, Jason?

  34. Evan on June 29th, 2005 9:35 am

    If a bank makes an error and deposits $400 million in my account, I don’t complain that it’s unfair when they take it back out.

    I think you should. Once the money is in your account, I think it should be yours. They gave it to you (even if they didn’t intend to). By doing so, they’ve surrendered any claim to it unless you give it back.

  35. Mords on June 29th, 2005 10:36 am


    Don’t be stupid

    On a different note: mariners’ website:

    A different game: Center fielder Jeremy Reed brings a lot to the Mariners, starting with a defensive prowess that shows up regularly on various highlight shows. He makes diving catches to his right, left and while racing toward the infield. He hasn’t, so far, made one of those Jim Edmonds back-turned-to-the-infield catches.

    But one thing you haven’t seen much of is Reed trotting around the bases after hitting a home run. He has hit two home runs in his first 295 official Major League at-bats.

    “My goal is to hit .300, not hit 30 home runs,” the 24-year-old left-handed batter said. “I need to get on base as much as possible.”


    He has been on base enough times to have a .270 batting average — which doesn’t meet his standards — and a .341 on-base percentage. That is the fourth-highest mark among Mariners regulars with at least 100 at-bats. Designated hitter Raul Ibanez (.356), left fielder Randy Winn (.354) and first baseman Richie Sexson (.345) are ahead of Reed. But Ichiro Suzuki (.333) isn’t. (!!!!!!)

    Reed is in the process of defining his game and through the first 145 games of his Major League career, the evidence shows that hitting .300 definitely is a possibility, while hitting a bunch of home runs isn’t.

    “I doubt that I’ll ever be a home run hitter, but I can hit home runs,” he said.

  36. Panev on June 29th, 2005 12:54 pm

    I saw Olivo play in Portland a few weeks ago. His glove is like a fly swatter. He does not frame pitches and probably costs his pitcher 8 – 10 strikes per game.

    I thought he would be working on defense at this level, but I saw no improvement on that day.

    Catcher maybe. Receiver, nope.

  37. RickL on June 29th, 2005 5:09 pm

    1. To round this all out, I think you do indeed speak for most Mariner fans. Olivio is the worst of our catchers. Even Ryan Christianson is better. This is a truly baffling, boneheaded move.