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Darren Oliver leaning toward playing next season at age 41

Nov 2, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT


Darren Oliver is 41 years old and a free agent, but the left-handed reliever is leaning toward coming back for a 19th season.

“After what happened this year, that leaves a bad taste in my mouth,” Oliver told T.R. Sullivan of “I don’t think I want it to end like that.”

Oliver also has plenty of gas left in the tank, posting ERAs of 2.29, 2.48, 2.71, and 2.88 during the past four seasons. He’s quietly been one of the best middle relievers in baseball following a mediocre career as a starter.

That includes a 44/11 K/BB ratio and .236 opponents’ batting average in 51 innings for the Rangers this season and Oliver made it clear that he’d like to re-sign with Texas.

  1. APBA Guy - Nov 2, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    Those numbers look better than they probably are, as Texas plays about a third of their games against weak offenses in the AL West, including Seattle and Oakland, who can be described as pathetic and historically bad, and Anaheim, who aren’t good. The same effect that has CJ Wilson looking better than he is applies to Oliver. Watching him (Oliver) in the offseason, I did not see an out pitch, no real velocity, nothing to indicate he was more than a soft tossing lefty in a relief role. Texas needs at least one “out” guy from the left side in the pen. If he slots in as the second lefty, fine, provided he’s paid as such.

    • natstowngreg - Nov 2, 2011 at 12:32 PM

      Fortunately for Oliver, there’s always a good demand for left-handed relief pitchers. Agree that he shouldn’t be used in, or paid for, what these days are called “high-leverage” situations.

      • Old Gator - Nov 2, 2011 at 12:40 PM

        Oliver is probably leaning because he’s 41. Is that enthusiasm or scoliosis?

      • cur68 - Nov 2, 2011 at 1:55 PM

        Bad hip.

      • natstowngreg - Nov 2, 2011 at 7:12 PM

        No doubt, he can still muster the enthusiasm if he’s paid enough.

  2. theolgoaler - Nov 2, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    Gator — I’ve got enthusiasm and scoliosis; had ’em both since I was a teenager. Unlike Oliver, however, I can’t get anybody out (never could…) The enthusiasm has served me well; the scoliosis, not so much…

    • Old Gator - Nov 2, 2011 at 9:38 PM

      Unfortunately, it’s the enthusiasm that can be cured without surgery or sadistic looking restraints….

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