Updated May 1, 2012 - 9:28 am
With Olivo out, Montero will be pushed
Update: Mike Carp has tweeted this morning that he is on his way to Tampa.
Miguel Olivo revealed that he heard a pop when he injured his groin in Monday's 3-2 loss to the Rays in 12 innings. While no timetable has been put on his return he was on crutches and unable to put any weight on his leg after the game. The pop he heard most likely indicates a severe injury. Eric Wedge no doubt knew this after the game.
"We won't know until it calms down, he gets checked out. I feel bad for the kid," Wedge said. "You guys have seen what he is starting to do. You know he is going to get it going. He had another good game tonight and has done a good job behind the plate for us. I feel bad for him but I told him after the game quickly this is just another bump in the road. You got to handle it like a man, do the work to get to back. We will help you with that and you go from there."
Wedge said he was prepared to go with two catchers, with Jesus Montero and John Jaso splitting time, so it would appear that Mike Carp will most likely be on his way back a couple of days early to take the roster spot. With Montero catching more, that will free up some at-bats in the DH spot and make Wedge's juggling act of young players a little easier.
Montero said he was prepared to do whatever was asked of him and had yet to be told his new role. He has been Olivo's constant shadow since day one of spring training and it was tough for him to see Olivo go down.
"I feel sorry," he said of the injury. "I have been through that. It's bad. I just want him to be here again and playing hard to help the team. I hope the best for him that he will be back."
Wedge has been very careful in bring up Montero both as a hitter and a catcher. He saw something in the 0-for-3 with two strikeouts Saturday that led him to give him a day off Sunday. Dave Valle, who is with us on radio this trip, said he saw something in his body language that day that indicated that he might need a break.
While Montero won't be thrown completely into the fire in Olivo's absence, days like Saturday may not be as frequent and that could be a good thing. He may respond to being pushed a little more. I found his performance Monday to be interesting, and yes, I know he has hit well in the games he has caught so far this year. Tonight was dramatic, however. 0-for-4 at the plate and not looking good at all and then pressed into action behind the plate when Olivo was hurt in the ninth. Two innings later he homered, giving the Mariners the short-lived lead.
What jumped out at me was the team needed this. Not just for the possible win but when a teammate appears to suffer a serious injury the life can be sucked out of the team. It is extremely sobering. An injury is the worst thing that can happen to a player and they all feel it for a moment when a teammate goes down. It had to be particularly hard for Montero, who is very close to Olivo, but he gave his team a lift in that situation. It was just one night but exactly what you want to see from your catcher.
We should learn more about the injury and have a roster move Tuesday.
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