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Move to bullpen working for Oliver


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Move to bullpen working for Oliver

 

By Tom D'Angelo, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Sunday, June 20, 2004

 

MIAMI GARDENS -- Darren Oliver never believed his job was in jeopardy, although the former starter's status was very shaky when he was demoted to the bullpen.

 

The move, though, has rejuvenated the left-hander and could result in a career change to the bullpen.

 

"It could be,'' said Oliver. "With the starters here..."

 

Oliver has been a pleasant surprise since losing his starting job following his May 21 start. He has allowed just a solo home run to the Mets' Jason Phillips in 12 innings out of the bullpen, and is on a streak of 10 scoreless innings in which he's allowed five hits and struck out five . He pitched two scoreless innings, allowing two hits, in Saturday's 7-6 loss to Rangers.

 

"I'm just pitching,'' Oliver said. "I couldn't get out of the funk I was in (as a starter). I feel a lot better.''

 

Oliver was 2-2 with a 7.94 ERA when he was demoted. He had five consecutive starts in which he did not pitch past the fifth inning.

 

"We weren't getting any innings out of him,'' manager Jack McKeon said. "He's done a good job in the bullpen and a lot of guys find themselves by going to the bullpen.''

 

Oliver, who has not been a full-time reliever since his first full season in the majors (1994 at Texas), could return to the rotation if Josh Beckett's strained back becomes problematic. The Marlins hope Beckett is ready by Saturday but are preparing as though he's not.

 

Handle with care: Beckett is becoming a target for his unmerciful teammates.

 

When Beckett's image appeared on the television in the clubhouse Friday, one teammate said: "The ironman.''

 

Oliver and Beckett were engaged in horseplay Saturday when Oliver said: "Get way from me. I don't want to hurt you.''

 

Earlier, a clubhouse attendant was reluctant to shake Beckett's hand, saying, "I might hurt you.''

 

Asked Beckett, who was injured in each of his past two starts, popping a blister in one and straining a back muscle in the other: "Am I that fragile?''

 

Penny pinchers: The Marlins have not scored a run with Brad Penny on the mound in his past two starts. Penny pitched 6 1/3 innings in an 8-1 loss to Texas on Friday and seven innings in a 6-2 loss at Detroit June 12.

 

Warming up: McKeon is not concerned about reliever Billy Koch's debut. The right-hander, acquired Thursday from the White Sox, allowed one run on two hits in one inning Friday.

 

"That was a perfect game to get his feet wet, get the rust off,'' McKeon said about the Rangers' 8-1 victory. "It may take a few outings.''

 

Koch had not pitched in nine days and had thrown just two innings since June 6.

 

The year of the senior citizen: Eight months after McKeon became the oldest manager to win a World Series, the Pistons' Admin Brown, 63, became the oldest coach to win an NBA title last week.

 

"His career is almost like mine,'' McKeon said. "We spent a lot of years and he could never get the top prize and all of a sudden he got it. All the years I spent in the game, and look what happened last year. I guess persistence pays off.''

 

Noteworthy: The Marlins activated pitcher Justin Wayne from the disabled list and optioned him to Class AAA Albuquerque.... Albuquerque pitcher Bryce Florie had Tommy John surgery this month and will miss eight to 12 months.

 

tom_dangelo@pbpost.com

 

Link to Article

 

 

Oliver continues to do well out of the pen.

 

ERA as a starter: 7.94

ERA as a reliever: 0.75

 

With his ability to hit, Oliver will likely be the 6th, 7th inning guy.

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But if Oliver is pitching good, than putting him in the starting rotation would be a way of getting better use out of his great pitching. Because he would be pitching more in the starting rotation.

The rotation is fine, they just need to get going in a pattern.

 

Oliver has found his niche in the bullpen, there he shall stay.

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I know that he has been very comfterble in the pen...but what would you guys say if we moved him back to the starting rotation? and put willis in the pen since he hasnt been doing so good lately...it could work.

lately?

 

1 game

 

before that he had been doing very well

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