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The Blogpark in Arlington
— Where Rangers Fans Come to Pray for Pitching

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   1. The Piehole of David Wells Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:20 PM (#3574043)
Peter Gammons once advocated loudly for the Red Sox to get Oliver and convert him to a reliever. He was right and I wish the Sox had taken his advice.
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:29 PM (#3574060)
Peter Gammons once advocated loudly for the Red Sox to get Oliver and convert him to a reliever. He was right and I wish the Sox had taken his advice.

They did (for fan favorite Carl Everett), and in his brief run, he didn't really show any more in the pen than they did as a starter.

Still, while it's strange that it happened so late, he was a guy you kept waiting for to put it all together. Good for him he's enjoyed such a nice run these past five years.
   3. Spivey Posted: June 29, 2010 at 03:42 PM (#3574082)
Oliver is just about the only one on the above list that is solid against righties, and that is consistent.

I wrote this last night before bed, so I think I had a poor choice of words here. All of the guys above are generally solid against righties, but Oliver is actually excellent against them and most of the others are not.
   4. Random Transaction Generator Posted: June 29, 2010 at 04:00 PM (#3574108)
I think it was two years ago I saw "D.Oliver" in a box score, and I thought it was some rookie pitcher I hadn't heard of before.
I was quite stunned to find out it was Darren Oliver.
   5. You can keep your massive haul Posted: June 29, 2010 at 05:29 PM (#3574300)
Now that Zumaya's arm fell off and reading this I will be adding Darren Oliver to my fantasy team. Thanks BBTF!
   6. Enten Posted: June 29, 2010 at 07:51 PM (#3574483)
Here's a quote from a friend of mine during the 2007 playoffs: "holy ####. darren oliver is still in baseball? i wish i was lefthanded."
   7. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 29, 2010 at 08:19 PM (#3574516)
I followed the Rangers a lot more closely when Oliver first came up and wonder how his career would look, and how many saves he would have compiled, had Johnny Oates not moved him into the rotation in 1995. He was an injury-prone starting pitching prospect in the minors who pitched a total of 55 innings during his age 19-21 seasons. Great stuff but needed to harness his control (159 H, 235 K, 122 BB in 232 minor league innings over 5 seasons from 1988-1992). He just couldn't stay healthy. Pretty much the story of every Rangers pitching prospect during this era.

His move to the bullpen in 1993 at AA kept him healthy all season and put him on the fast track to the majors. 6.3 H/9 and 9.4 K/9 despite 5.0 BB/9.... good for a 1.96 ERA over 73 innings.

1994 was a good healthy major league rookie year in line with his minor league numbers.

Then in 1995 Johnny Oates decided to move him into the rotation after the season started. He made his first start as part of the regular rotation on May 30. By the end of June his season was over due to injuries.

On one hand I'm amazed that he managed to remain relatively healthy as a rotation starter over the next 8 years but wonder if he would have grown into being a lights-out reliever with dynamic stuff instead of spending the bulk of his career as a Grade C/C- starter.

I wonder what ZiPS would say Oliver's 1995-2005 seasons would look like had he remained a reliever.
   8. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 29, 2010 at 08:30 PM (#3574534)
Do you mean projecting him as if he were a reliever or translating his performances into relief?

Also, he'll always been Buzz Oliver to me.
   9. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: June 29, 2010 at 08:54 PM (#3574556)
I was thinking in terms of starting with his 1993 season in AA and projecting him forward based on usage strictly as a reliever as well as working backward from 2006 and meeting in the middle.
   10. franklloyd Posted: June 30, 2010 at 01:23 AM (#3574790)
arthur rhodes 2005-2010:

264G, 209.2IP, 2.62ERA, 1.19WHIP, 2.62ERA
   11. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: June 30, 2010 at 01:36 AM (#3574796)
I don't know what's most amazing about Rhodes' 2010: his 1,510 ERA+, his 30 straight innings without being charged a run or the fact that the Cubs are the team that touched him up.
   12. Spivey Posted: June 30, 2010 at 01:38 AM (#3574802)
Rhodes has certainly been very good, although he's just not logged the innings the other guys have. He could be on the list, but he definitely hasn't been better than Oliver over the last 5 years - just because of the massive IP gulf (and 2005 was a very good Rhodes year, while 2006 was not).
   13. Zeba Zeba Eata Posted: June 30, 2010 at 01:52 AM (#3574821)
3 of the 8 pitchers listed above (including Oliver) were 2006 Mets. The Mets didn't really pursue Oliver after the season, assuming it was a fluke year. Seemed reasonable at the time, but didn't work out.
   14. franklloyd Posted: June 30, 2010 at 02:36 AM (#3574877)
I was there to witness Rhodes' amazing 2001 season
with the 116-win Mariners. He was unhittable all year. You could look it up.
   15. God Posted: June 30, 2010 at 03:28 AM (#3574892)
I'm going to say that Hong-Chih Kuo (when healthy) over the last 5 years has been better than all the lefty relievers listed above except for Wagner:

123 G, 156.1 IP, 2.76 ERA, 112 H, 184 SO, 63 BB, 10.8 K/9, 1.12 WHIP, .198 BAA
   16. Spivey Posted: June 30, 2010 at 04:15 AM (#3574903)
Well Oliver certainly let the Rangers down today.

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