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As mentioned, Miguel Olivo is headed for the disabled list with a groin injury that appears significant. I know the abuse Olivo has taken, but he was starting to get hot, hitting his third home run in the last five games in the second inning. He’s a popular guy on this team, and there were a lot of long faces that went beyond a heartbreaking loss.
Olivo himself was pretty glum afterward, as you’d expect.
“I tried to be aggressive, the way I am, and make that play at first base. My leg stuck in the grass and I felt a pop in my groin. I know that feeling. I know my body. I have to be honest with myself. I know it’s not going to be easy. It’s hurting and real painful.”
Olivo hurt his groin last spring, you’ll remember, but said, “This one is more painful. I told Wedge, I know I got it good right now. There’ s nothing you can do. There are some things you cannot control. I play hard and anything can happen. This happened for some reason. Only God knows what he can do.
“I’ve been struggling the whole month and now I start feeling better and that thing happens. It’s part of baseball. Some things you can’t control. This one feels more painful. We’ll see what happens. I heal quick. Maybe I’ll be ready next week. Nah,. But you never know. How do I say .. I’m very angry, but not angry. Sad. There’s nothing I can do.”
As I also mentioned before, manager Eric Wedge said the plan is to split the catching between Jesus Montero and John Jaso. The former will now get a chance to hone his skills on a more regular basis, which a lot of people have been clamoring for, while Jaso will get a chance to actually put on the gear and get behind the plate, which a lot of people have also been clamoring for.
Wedge on Olivo: “I feel bad for the kid. You’ve seen what he’s starting to do. That’s the reason you start playing him, because you know he’s going to get it going and he is getting it going and he had a good night for us tonight. And what he means behind the plate for us. I feel badly for him, but like I told him after the game, this is just another bump in the road, bud; You’ve got to handle it like a man, do the work to get back and we’ll help you with that and you go from there.”
I asked if he was prepared to turn the catching over to Montero and Jaso.
“Yeah, we are prepared to do that,” he replied. “You guys asked how Jaso would get behind the plate, and I guess you know now. If we do that, they’ll split time. Just where they’re both at and what we’re trying to do here with the development process and where they’re at.”
He indicated they are leaning toward bringing up Mike Carp, though apparently there’s some thought to a third catcher, such as Guillermo Quiroz. I would bet on Carp.
“That’s the other thing you’d weigh,” Wedge said of adding a catcher. “But if Montero gets more time behind the plate and Jaso gets more time behind the plate, then we could stick with two catchers. And if I do catch Montero and something happens, then you get in a situation like we did tonight and you just bring a pitcher in the ballgame and play a National League brand of ball.”
Montero said, “I don’t know what they’re going to do or decide. I’m here to help the team and do my best. Whatever they’re going to do with me, I’m going to be fine.”
About Olivo, Montero said, “I feel sorry. I’ve been through that. It’s bad, but I just want him to be here again and keep helping the team, like he was doing. I hope the best for him, so he can be back.”
Now, onto the fateful bunt by Michael Saunders. Here’s Wedge’s take:
“He did that on his own and he shouldn’t have. I’ve talked to him abou it already and asked his reasons for it, and he had good answers, but it’s still not what we want him to do right there. If we’re going to do that there, it’s going to come from me and everybody is going to be aware of it so there’s a level of awareness there that allows Kawasaki to come home, quite frankly. But he’s a young player playing every day for the first time. He’s doing a good job. He made a mistake tonight, but he’ll be better for it.
“First and third in that situation, I feel pretty good with him up there. We don’t need a base hit. We’ve got a hole open in the right side, it could be a fly ball, a jam shot, another ground ball that pulls an infielder in a fashion where they can’t turn a double play. If you look at the pros and cons, that’s not what we’re looking for right there.”
And here’s Saunders:
“Yep, I did it all on my own. I wasn’t seeing the ball too well tonight. It wasn’t the best placed bunt. I feel if I could have gotten it another foot to the left, maybe it would have been fine. The third baseman was playing me back. It’s just one of those things I took on my own account, did on my own and it was my own decision. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.
“It’s certainly something that will definitely come up again in the future. I’m not ruling out I’ll never do it again. I was just going on how I felt. I guess I made the wrong decision. Fly ball, ground ball, unless it’s hit hard right at someone, they’re probably not turning two on me. It was just one of those things I decided to go for it, I sold out on it, and it didn’t pay off.”
Though he didn’t feel good tonight, Saunders had been driving the ball well. “That’s what we talked about. It boiled down to me just not feeling comfortable in the box tonight. I wasn’t seeing the ball well and I just had one of those nights. I felt at the time I had a better opportunity to do the job by laying down a bunt. I couldn’t get it close enough to the line – too close to the pitcher. Tomorrow’s another day and that’s the beauty of baseball. I’ll get in there, feel good tomorrow, and forget about tonight.”