Last night, Miguel Olivo clubbed what we assumed to be a meaningless two-run homer, turning a 9-1 laugher into a 9-3 romcom. It wasn't even the most notable thing Olivo did in the game, as earlier he'd struck out with one down and the bases loaded. I'd wager a significant portion of the audience didn't realize Olivo homered at all, as by that point few were still paying attention.
But, oh! It was not such a meaningless home run after all! For the homer was Olivo's 18th of the season, tying the single-season franchise record for a catcher.
(1t) 18, 2011 Miguel Olivo
(1t) 18, 2006 Kenji Johjima
(1t) 18, 1996 Dan Wilson
(4) 15, 1997 Dan Wilson
(5) 14, 2007 Kenji Johjima
You can really get a sense for how productive Olivo has been this year by comparing his current numbers to those other catcher seasons:
Oh right, the .258 OBP. It's the third-lowest OBP in baseball, and presently the fourth-worst single-season OBP in Mariners history among regular players. It's lower than Jose Lopez's 2010. It's lower than Omar Vizquel's 1989. It's lower than Brian Hunter's 1999. It's higher than Bob Kearney's 1984, by one point.
Miguel Olivo is a catcher. Catchers aren't held to the same offensive standard as everybody else, for good reason. But still, he's treated the individual bases like they're active noxious fumaroles, good for a quick peek but bad for lingering. As advertised, Miguel Olivo has brought his power bat to Seattle. And, as advertised, that's been his entire offensive game.