Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards Turn Page; Olivares Hopes to Rewrite Story

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Cards Turn Page; Olivares Hopes to Rewrite Story

Article excerpt

If this is Omar Olivares' last stand as a starting pitcher for the Cardinals, no one is saying it.

"That's the last thing you want is to say that," manager Joe Torre said. "He's only 26 years old."

Olivares, who has been recalled from Louisville to start for the Cardinals here tonight, had disappointed and frustrated Torre since he became Cardinals manager nearly four years ago. "He'd tease you," said Torre, "because we thought he had very good stuff.

"But that's in the past," Torre said. "You keep turning the page. Each time you turn the page, you hope the story has a happy ending."

Olivares, who was cut late in spring training after the Cardinals signed Rich Rodriguez, reeled off three consecutive good starts for Louisville after pitching poorly at the start of the season and then going on the disabled list with a pulled groin muscle.

Now that his injury has improved, Olivares has resumed his normal stride, enabling him to throw what can be a good forkball.

Olivares, 26-20 in four seasons with the Cardinals, will make several more starts as the Cardinals try to settle a tattered rotation. "We're just going to turn him loose," Torre said.

When Olivares was sent to Louisville, he took it as a slap in the face at first.

"But it was not a disciplinary thing," Torre said. "It's just tough to get things straightened out at this level. You're in the fire all the time. Down there, you have a little time to get settled in emotionally."

Olivares has something to prove, but he said it isn't as if he were on a mission. "A mission for what?" he said.

"I'm not even thinking about that. I just know I have my stuff back. Everything is going the way I want it.

"Going back there was a good experience. It was the only way I could get back to what I was. Here, in the big leagues, I wasn't going to get the time or the chance. If they'd let me start 10 games, maybe I could have worked everything out, but they weren't going to let me do that.

"I had got completely out of shape and out of my mechanics. …

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