OAKLAND -- Blue Jays reliever Darren Oliver hit another milestone when he surpassed the 1,900-innings plateau for his career on Tuesday night.
Oliver has thrown 1,900 2/3 innings over the course of his 20-year career. It's a rare feat for someone who has spent so much time in the bullpen, but it's also a testament to his durability and ability to maintain a spot in the big leagues even at 42 years old.
"He has been good for us," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He's had a tremendous career, he really has. It was kind of up in the air whether he was going to come back or not [this season], but we're glad he did.
"He has been around the game a long time and he's a lot like [Mark] Buehrle, the picture of durability. They answer the bell and year in and year out they give you what you need. He started some, he's been a reliever. What a tremendous career."
Oliver pondered retirement at the end of last season but instead decided to return for one more year after the Blue Jays opted to pick up his $3 million option for the 2013 campaign. The hope was that it would give Oliver another shot at making the postseason, but Toronto's 49-57 record has failed to live up to the hype.
The year also hasn't been quite as easy on Oliver as ones in the past. He's struggled at times on the mound but has still managed to post a relatively respectable 3.71 ERA in 34 innings. It's not the sub-3.00 ERA he posted in each of the past five seasons, but he's still finding a way to contribute.
"This season hasn't gone the way we wanted it to, and he wanted to be a part of that," Gibbons said. "But he has been a big part of this team, and for myself personally, I've only been around for a small part of his career, but it's pretty neat for me, too."