UPDATE: CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Marlins have reached an agreement with Olivo, pending a physical.
10:15 AM: Cincinnati offered Miguel Olivo a $100,000 retention bonus to stick around at Triple-A after losing the backup catcher job to Devin Mesoraco, but he asked to be released and may have better opportunities.
Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that Jeff Mathis’ broken collarbone has the Marlins looking for catching help and “there are indications [Olivo] will wind up” in Miami.
Olivo previously played for the Marlins in 2007 and 2008, and as a right-handed hitter he’d be paired with the left-handed hitting Rob Brantly.
At age 34 it’d be awfully tough for Olivo to turn down any sort of guaranteed big-league opportunity.
Justin Verlander is approaching the tail end of a fantastic year with the Astros — arguably one of his best in the last decade — and on Saturday, he kicked off his last regular season start at Minute Maid Park with a strikeout, his 270th of the year. While that’s still a few shy of Max Scherzer‘s league-best mark of 290, it was a new personal record for Verlander, who had yet to beat the previous career record he set with 269 strikeouts in 2009.
Verlander’s moment arrived at the top of the first inning on a seven-pitch called strikeout against the Angels’ Kole Calhoun. Cole worked a 2-2 count, then fouled off a pair of 95-MPH fastballs before missing the seventh and final pitch at the top of the strike zone.
Jose Fernandez battled twice as long in the next at-bat, albeit with far more disastrous results. His 14-pitch duel against the Astros’ righty ended when he caught a fastball on his hand and was forced to come out of the game.
After expending a total of 27 pitches in the first inning, however, Verlander returned in the second to strike out the side, then logged another pair of strikeouts in the third. With six strikeouts through three innings, he boosted his season strikeout total to 275 — just a hair above fellow Houston righty Gerrit Cole (and all other AL pitchers), who previously led the team with 272 whiffs on the year.