The astute Toronto Blue Jays fans among us may have noticed that ageless lefty Darren Oliver has not taken the mound since May 18th, when he allowed two runs (one earned) against the Yankees. When pressed for an answer by John Lott of the National Post, manager John Gibbons indicated that Oliver has been experiencing a sore pitching shoulder and has been held out for precautionary reasons.
The pitcher himself was a bit more candid.
“It’s sore enough to where I can’t go out there and play,” he said, adding: “I’ve pitched through it a few times. Maybe I’m just getting old, who knows.”
Oliver also expanded on the injury a bit, saying that he has been dealing with it for a week to 10 days, and that he may be facing a stint on the disabled list if it does not improve quickly.
Oliver is coming off of a solid 2012 season in which he continued to defy father time, posting a stellar 2.06 ERA and a solid 8.3 K/9 ratio over 62 appearances and 56.2 innings pitched.
However, 2013 has not been quite as friendly. While the 42-year-old has been more than serviceable, he currently holds a 3.18 ERA and a 5.8 K/9 ratio over 17 innings this season. In his last two outings, he has surrendered 3 runs (2 earned), but struck out 5 in the process.
With the Blue Jays needing to make a roster move prior to Friday’s game, when rookie Sean Nolin is scheduled to be called up to start. The thought right now is that Ramon Ortiz will be designated for assignment, but Toronto could avoid that by adding Ortiz to the bullpen and placing Oliver on the disabled list.