Pittsburgh Pirates Ryan Doumit is finishing hot, and one could say that he is the last man standing. The Pirate catcher – who played nearly every possible inning in early Spring Training games as the Bucs attempted to showcase their oft-injured backstop for other clubs – is now on another offensive tear.
Meanwhile, Chris Snyder’s season is done. The catcher the Bucs brought in at the deadline last season will head to API in Phoenix. It seemed apparent to a few people around the game that Snyder’s back was never quite right; he would take bad positioning on throws to the plate, seemingly avoiding contact at all cost.
Before the game yesterday, Snyder said that he looks forward to spending some time with his kids and getting in shape.
Meanwhile, back in Pittsburgh, Ryan Doumit is looking forward to spending time raking major league pitching.
Baseball is a strange, strange game. Snyder was brought over from Arizona and struggled mightily. So did Doumit, who was so bad in 2010 that 79 runners stole bases, while he threw out only 11.
The 2011 season was even worse, as both catchers got injured within hours of each other, starting a merry-go-round of replacements at the position for the Pirates. To watch Snyder’s season end as he tried to hustle for a double was just too hard to believe; his back simply had to be glass-like fragile all along.
But with Snyder now gone, the real story turns to “How in the hell did Doumit survive on the Pirates roster?”
We’d imagine it’s a really interesting story if we had all the inside details. But looking at it from the outside, it seemed that Doumit just remained professional. It had to be really uncomfortable at Spring Training knowing that the Black and Gold had seen enough of their long-time backstop.
Fast forwarding to the past 30 days, it’s hard to imagine this Pirates’ offense without Doumit. No, in fact, it’s frightening to think what the production would be without their switch-hitting backstop.
In his past ten games, Doumit is ripping at a .344 clip. In the last week, he is on a .500 tear, and a quick check of the past 30 days shows Dewey hitting .301.
The offensive numbers are solid for Doumit – despite a slow start, he has a .291/.342/.469 line which is good for an .811 OPS in 179 at-bats this season. He has hit well in the past so, this really isn’t much of a surprise seeing the Bucs catcher rake a bit.
If only he could remain healthy, Doumit would likely be considered strongly for a tandem at the catching position next season.
His defense seems to have improved – due to being rested more, we assume - especially with plays like the one last night at the plate:
One troubling trend is that runners are stealing a bit more, and we think our mind might be playing tricks on us because we could swear we saw notable speedsters Carlos Lee and Aramis Ramirez grab a ninety.
Doumit has thrown out seven runners – and allowed 33 stolen bases. (Of course, many of the Bucs pitchers are far from average at holding runners.)
The real story is that Ryan Doumit has played his way back into (at the very least) consideration for a spot on the roster next season. And that’s a nice accomplishment for a player that seemingly no MLB club wanted to make a deal for at the beginning of the season.