Hector Olivera was out of the Braves lineup again on Saturday against the Miami Marlins continuing a trend since his arrival on Atlanta's roster. Olivera has accumulated just 14 at-bats against left-handed pitchers since he was promoted on September 1. However, according to manager Fredi Gonzalez, nothing should be read into that as the Braves still expect Olivera to be a full-time player next season.
"We’re kind of picking and choosing. Next season, he’ll have winter ball – I don’t know if it’ll be a month, two months, but he’ll have some at-bats there — and then he’ll have a full spring training."
"Then you’ll use him as your full-time third baseman or your full-time whatever,"
Olivera has been limited over the last couple of years due to injury and his leaving Cuba to come to the United States. Sitting him against leftys has also allowed the team to continue to evaluate Adonis Garcia who has hit .333 with four home runs against left-handed pitching this season.
The Braves paid a high price tag to acquire Olivera from the Dodgers. While many were looking for him to be an immediate impact player, there was never much of a chance for that. A proper offseason will better position him for success and hopefully provide a much clearer picture of the type of player he will be.