From BR Bullpen
Manuel Tabare Olivera Cavero
- Bats Right, Throws Left
- Height 5' 11", Weight 205 lb.
Manny Olivera has pitched five years in the US minor leagues, one year in the Netherlands and several years for the Spanish national team.
He was 0-1 with a 17.47 ERA in the 1995 European Championship at age 17 as Spain's worst hurler. He walked 13 in 5 2/3 IP. Manuel was 0-2 with a 6.35 ERA for Spain in the 1997 Intercontinental Cup. In the 1999 European Championship, Olivera threw a 5-hit, 10-strikeout shutout in his only appearance. Olivera pitched in college for Southwest Texas State. As a senior, he went 6-2 with a 4.19 ERA. In 2001, he signed with the Alexandria Aces and was 7-1 with a 4.30 ERA. He remained in the independent leagues in the US in 2002, going 9-6 with a 4.10 ERA for Alexandria.
He came to the Netherlands in 2004 for the Tornado's team. He went 9-8 but with a 1.52 ERA. He led Hoofdklasse in ERA, beating out Eelco Jansen by .27. He led the league also in innings (136), strikeouts (142, 42 more than Jansen) and complete games (12, twice as many as runner-up Nick Stuifbergen). He tied Martijn Nijhoff for second in wins, two behind Jansen. In the 2004 Haarlem Baseball Week, he was 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA for the Reno Astros.
Olivera was working at a baseball school in Houston, TX run by Bo Porter when a Florida Marlins scout signed him for the team for 2005. He was 3-4 with a 3.94 ERA in 35 games for the Jupiter Hammerheads that year. Manny went 0-2 with a 6.30 ERA in the 2005 Baseball World Cup, though he led Spain's hurlers with 11 strikeouts in 10 innings of work. He lost games to Jared Wells (USA) and Paul Mildren (Australia).
In 2006, Olivera was 1-0 with a 5.30 ERA for Jupiter but did better in his AA debut, going 5-9 with a 3.99 ERA for the Carolina Mudcats. Olivera started 2007 with a 0-4, 5.97 record for Carolina and was released by Florida. He caught on again with the Reno Astros club, which he had played for in the past.
Olivera was 1-0 with a 4.63 ERA in the 2007 European Championship, struggling with his control with 13 walks and 3 wild pitches in 11 2/3 IP. The Spanish southpaw had a 1-0, 1.46 record in the 2007 Baseball World Cup as his home country's ace. Against the South African national team, he struck out 7 and allowed 2 hits and no runs in six innings to get Spain's lone win of the competition. Against the Japanese national team (which won Bronze in the event), he gave up two hits and two runs in six innings (walking six) in a no-decision as Spain lost 4-3 in a near-upset.
Olivera saw a lot of work in the 2008 Final Olympic Qualification Tournament, leading Spain with 12 innings pitched. He allowed 20 hits and went 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA. He pitched poorly against two of the tourney's top teams, South Korea and Taiwan before pitching well in a no-decision against the Mexican national team.
He signed with FC Barcelona in April of 2008.
Sources: IBAF site, MILB.com, 2007 Marlins Media Guide, 2007 European Championship stats, The Baseball Cube for 2001 college stats, Marco Stoovelaar's Dutch baseball site, 2002-2005 Baseball Almanacs, Harry Wedemeijer's international baseball stats