TORONTO — Darren Oliver wasn’t 100 per cent certain he wanted to return this season before signing with the Blue Jays during the winter, and the left-hander says he hasn’t yet considered whether or not he wants to pitch again in 2013.
The Jays are paying US$4 million this year and hold a US$3 million option on him for next year, a bargain if he can perform similarly to the way he has this year. Coming into Wednesday’s action he was 2-2 with a 1.23 ERA in 40 games as one of manager John Farrell’s most reliable options in the bullpen.
“I really haven’t put too much thought into it, to tell you the truth,” he said in an interview. “I try to not to think about that kind of stuff until the season is over.”
A veteran of 19 big-league seasons, Oliver turns 42 on Oct. 6 but hasn’t been feeling his age.
He’s been careful not to overdo things on the Rogers Centre turf – “that definitely would have broken me down, I’m definitely smart about that,” he explains – and feels strong as a result.
“I am happy with where my body is, I surprise myself every day because I’ll be 42 pretty soon, but I’m day-to-day,” he said. “You don’t know how the body is going to respond, so we’ll see how it goes from there.”