Fans of the Atlanta Braves have (very) high expectations for Cuban slugger Hector Olivera, but things aren't going particularly well for the now 30-year-old. David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Olivera was released by his Winter League team, Caguas, on Sunday, and while the optics of that aren't great under any circumstance, O'Brien provides this potential reasoning:
A person familiar with the situation said Olivera was given permission to fly to Miami to see his gravely ill sister, who needs a kidney transplant. Olivera apparently had a problem either getting a flight or making it to the airport in time for his flight to Puerto Rico, and when he returned a day later than expected he was released by Caguas.
The report also goes on to say that Olivera's manager, Joey Cora, denied any thought that the Braves would have asked Olivera to return to the U.S., and a quick look at his numbers from his stint in Puerto Rico isn't great. Olivera posted just a .646 OPS in 18 games during his trip, and while that isn't the end of the world, it is at least slightly troubling for the much-heralded slugger.
We won't know the specifics on Olivera unless the team or player elect to elaborate, but with Olivera set to turn 31 years old in April, there isn't a lot of time to wait for him to "arrive" as a Major League contributor.