ST. LOUIS — The Marlins announced Thursday that catcher Miguel Olivo has cleared waivers and elected free agency. The Marlins took Olivo, 34, off the restricted list Wednesday and designated for assignment.
Olivo had been placed on the restricted list June 15 — a day after he left the team after the first inning of a game against the Cardinals at Marlins Park. Following veteran Jeff Mathis’ return from the disabled list, Olivo was unhappy with his lack of playing time.
Olivo played in 33 games for the Marlins this season and hit .203 with four home runs in 74 at-bats.
Donovan Solano’s two-out, two-strike single Thursday night that helped deliver one of the Marlins’ gutsiest wins of the season only added to his value in the eyes of Marlins manager Mike Redmond.
“It’s a tough role [pinch-hitting] because you’re asking a guy to come in and give you an at-bat like he’s been playing the whole night,” Redmond said.
“There’s a lot of failure in that role. But he’s a guy who has the ability to shorten up his swing and put the ball in play.”
Solano rejoined the team at the start of the road trip Tuesday after not having played since May 3 due originally to a left intercostal strain that resulted in a stint on the disabled list.
Should Solano continue to play well, he gives the Marlins many options they did not have earlier in the season when the team was rife with injuries.
“Sometimes when you get put in those spots when you’re struggling, it can be good because you have nothing to lose,” Redmond said. “So you go up there thinking you will have a good at-bat, and [then] you do.
“It’s a confidence builder.”
Giancarlo Stanton made one of the best defensive plays of the season to preserve Thursday night’s win when he made a diving catch to take away a -tying hit from Dan Uggla in the bottom of the ninth.
Stanton has remained healthy since returning June 10 from his strained hamstring injury. The Marlins plan to make sure he stays healthy.
Redmond said he would consider resting Stanton a day before the end of this weekend’s series with the final two games being in the afternoon.
Stanton has hit one home run in his past 15 games.
“Right now, we’re kind of just going on how he feels, and he says he feels great,” Redmond said. “You can kind of tell when a guy starts to drag a little bit. They usually have a way of letting you know. Offensively, he’s scuffling a little bit, but he’ll work through it.
“He’s one of those guys that one swing and he’s back on track.”
Redmond said utility infielder Chris Valaika was cleared to begin his rehab assignment and will start at Single A Jupiter. Valaika fractured his left wrist on May 7 in San Diego while attempting to catch a ball on an attempted steal by Yonder Alonso.
Justin Ruggiano leads the Marlins in home runs with 12. But not one has triggered the Marlins Park sculpture.
Ruggiano has kept his power displays exclusive to the road so far, and according to STATS LLC and SABR, the statistical quirk is approaching historic levels. Ruggiano is tied for seventh all-time in Major League Baseball history for consecutive road home runs to start the season. The record is 17 set by Goose Goslin of the Washington Senators in 1926. Ruggiano entered Friday’s game tied with former Marlins first baseman Derrek Lee, who hit his first 12 homers in 2000 on the road.
• Saturday: Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 2.00 ERA) vs. St. Louis Cardinals RHP Joe Kelly (0-3, 3.86), 2:15 p.m., Busch Stadium.
• Sunday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (5-4, 2.72) vs. Cardinals RHP Lance Lynn (10-3, 3.75), 2:15 p.m., Busch Stadium.
• Scouting report: Eovaldi will make his third start of the season since coming off the disabled list. He threw six shutout innings his last time out against the Padres on June 30, allowing four hits and three walks.