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Olivo excited to re-join Marlins in backup role

Olivo excited to re-join Marlins in backup role

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- When an opportunity to make the Reds fell through, Miguel Olivo wasted little time hooking on with the Marlins.

The signing became official on Friday, and the 34-year-old is now ready for his second stint in Miami.

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But up until the end of Spring Training, Olivo was holding out hope that he would be with the Reds. They had other plans, opting to go with Devin Mesoraco as Ryan Hanigan's backup.

Before asking for his release, Olivo sat down with Reds manager Dusty Baker and pitching coach Bryan Price to discuss his situation.

"They talked to me," Olivo said. "I thought I had a chance, but they wanted to go with Mesoraco and Hanigan. They said they wanted to send me to Triple-A, but I said, 'No.' I thought I had an opportunity to play in the big leagues.

"I told them to give me my release because I felt I could play somewhere in the big leagues. I came here."

Olivo provides a right-handed hitting option to Rob Brantly, who bats left-handed.

Brantly is starting in Monday's opener against Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals.

On Wednesday, Washington is going with lefty Gio Gonzalez. There is a strong likelihood that Olivo will start in that game.

"I'm very happy to come back here," Olivo said. "Everybody wants to play in Florida. Now, with the new stadium and the new club, it's nice."

Olivo has been in the big leagues since 2002, where he has caught 1,020 games -- including two no-hitters.

The veteran said he plans on working closely with Brantly, a 23-year-old with 31 games of big league experience.

"It's amazing, I'm already having fun with Brantly," Olivo said. "He's a nice kid. I'm going to help him out a lot."

Olivo previously was with the Marlins in 2006-07. In his final game of '07 -- the second to last game of the season -- he was ejected after being involved in a skirmish.

The Mets won 13-0 that day at Shea Stadium, and during the frustrating afternoon for the Marlins, Olivo charged Jose Reyes, and they were quickly separated as both benches cleared.

John Maine, now with the Marlins, had a no-hitter going that day until it was broken up in the eighth inning by Paul Hoover, who was in the game because Olivo was ejected.

"Everything in the past stays in the past," Olivo said.

Olivo and Reyes, both from the Dominican Republic, were friends at the time and still are friends.

"That's part of baseball," Olivo said.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Less