Hard work, dedication, and even a bit of swallowing some pride, paid off for Oakdale resident Miguel Olivo and his mission to get back to the Major Leagues.
On Wednesday, April 30, the Los Angeles Dodgers called up the 35-year-old Olivo from the Triple-A affiliate Albuquerque Isotopes and optioned down catcher Tim Federowicz.
Olivo was hitting .390 with four homers and a 1.099 OPS in 15 games for the Isotopes, killing AAA pitching in a quest he announced at the beginning of the 2014 season to make it back to a big league ball club.
The sub-Mendoza line hitting of the Dodgers’ catching duo of Federowicz and the other catcher on the roster, Drew Butera, has been incredibly poor this season while platooning for the injured A.J. Ellis. Federowicz and Butera combined for a BA of .143 with a .393 OPS.
Olivo, an 11-year Major League veteran with a career .241 batting average plus 145 home runs and 488 RBIs, signed a minor league contract with the Dodgers at the start of the year after being released by the Miami Marlins last July in a dispute over playing time. He hadn’t played in a major-league game since June 12, 2013.
On Thursday, May 1, wearing his familiar number 30 on his jersey, he started against the Twins in the first game of a doubleheader.
In the 9-4 Dodger victory, Olivo showed doubters he belongs in the line-up getting two hits, a walk, and a sacrifice fly with two RBIs in a 2-for-3 performance at the plate. As of presstime Monday evening, Olivo was leading the Dodgers with a .417 batting average, going 5-for-12 in his last four games.
Olivo was originally signed by the Oakland Athletics. He met his wife Gloria (Torres) who is from Oakdale, in 1999 while playing Class A minor league baseball in Modesto. The family, with six children, still resides in Oakdale.