The Rangers announced today, via press release, that retired left-hander Darren Oliver has joined the front office as a special assistant to general manager Jon Daniels. In his new role, Oliver will work with Daniels and his staff “in a variety of areas with an emphasis on pitching,” according to the release. Daniels issued the following statement:
“We are very happy to welcome Darren Oliver into an official capacity with the Rangers. Darren will focus on pitching on both the major and minor league levels, and he will have a presence in Arlington and with our minor league affiliates. I also expect that he will be a valuable sounding board to our baseball operations group on all fronts. Darren has been working with us on an informal basis over the last several months and was a great asset on our trip to the Dominican Republic in January and during his several weeks at spring training camp. I am glad that we have been able to formalize that relationship.”
The 43-year-old Oliver was a third-round pick of the Rangers back in 1988. He spent 20 seasons in the Major Leagues, pitching to a 4.51 ERA with 5.9 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, a 118-98 win-loss record, 11 complete games, four shutouts and seven saves. Oliver’s career looked to be winding down after the 2005 season, as he’d posted a 5.83 ERA in 573 innings from 2000-04. However, he converted to the bullpen on a full-time basis from that point forth and proceeded to pitch for another eight seasons. In that final stretch, the durable Oliver was a workhorse out of the ‘pen and enjoyed a 2.95 ERA (149 ERA+) with 7.5 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in his final 508 2/3 innings.
Oliver spoke with Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith back in February about his post-retirement plans and his final season, noting that he was proud to end his career with a productive 3.86 ERA in 49 innings for the Blue Jays: “I’d rather go out like that than hang on and get beat up on the mound and have the fans boo you. No one likes to go out like that.”