May 6th, 2011

Oliver pushed back at Toledo

I’m off for this weekend’s series at Toronto, but I decided to head down to Toledo tonight to get a look at Andy Oliver. Except …

It sounds worse than it actually is, apparently, but it still sounds funny. Oliver was messing around with a slingshot during the Mud Hens’ off-day Thursday, and while he didn’t have an accident or anything, his hand was sore today. To hear him describe it, he was using some muscles in his hand he doesn’t normally use, and they became sore.

Both Oliver and Hens manager Phil Nevin said he could’ve pitched tonight. But with the ability to push ahead their other starters without forcing them to pitch on short rest, they played it cautious.

“We’ve been wanting to maybe a skip a start and get some extra days [off] throughout the season,” Nevin said. “He could’ve pitched today.”

Instead, he’ll pitch Monday.

“I played catch and felt fine,” Oliver said. “It’s nothing. I’m not even concerned about it at all.”

That said, management relayed the message about off-field activities that impact his pitching.

“I think he realizes the ramifications of missing today’s start,” Nevin said. “But it’s part of growing up and realizing priorities. We’re not angry with him or anything like that. It’s not a huge deal.”

It’s also not a deal that has a clear ulterior motive. As it was, Oliver would’ve started tonight around the same time Phil Coke was pitching. Pushing him back a few days doesn’t foreshadow anything.