Chuck Tanner was always a big Ryan Doumit fan. So were we. At one point we were anyway. The frustration of watching such a talented player have his career impacted by so many injuries took its toll on our psyche. Maybe it did to you as well.
One could argue Doumit was the bright spot in a punchless 2011 Pirates second half offense. But it seemed apparent to us Hurdle wasn’t a big fan. It’s hard to blame Hurdle in that regard. Paying $15 million for a frustrating player whose catching days seemed numbered is hardly a wise decision for the cash strapped Pittsburgh Pirates.
Doumit in the American League is smart if he can DH. If the Twins trot out Doumit to play first base or right field, be sure to hit me up on Twitter–I always lost my mind watching Doumit try to play those positions.
I think it is easy to say one could read between the lines and safely say that Neal Huntington was never real impressed with how Doumit handled the Pirate pitching staff.
Yet, we remember when Doumit helped Joel Hanrahan after he came over from the Nats. Doumit showed belief in Hanrahan’s slider and urged him to throw it repeatedly. Hanrahan posted sick strikeout numbers as his confidence grew. Doumit never was able to develop consistent work with the pitching staff due to the injury bug. It’s a freaking shame, but of course Doumit isn’t the first player to suffer from the Pirates curse.
Doumit struggled to throw out runners and as the 2010 season wore on, fans grew more and more frustrated. It carried over through the offseason and in Spring Training of 2011 year, Doumit was on the block.
He was put in spring training lineup after spring training lineup and continued to take at-bats away from the Pirates catcher of the future Tony Sanchez. It was blatantly obvious the Pirates wanted every team they played to get a good, loooooong look at Ryan Doumit.
The trouble was Neal Huntington couldn’t put a deal together. Of course, it’s never easy moving a player that had bottomed out as badly as Doumit had.
We will always have respect for Doumit who was the Pirates second round pick in 1999 because he never once bitched about the situation. We had a chance to meet the guy from Lake Moses, Washington on an elevator in Chicago once. He couldn’t have been nicer and I appreciated the fact that he was kind to our son.
Thankfully for the Pirates, they weren’t able to move Doumit because the injury bug hit the catching position in a big way in 2011. The catchers simply couldn’t remain healthy. It was so bad that even, well, we aren’t going to mention all the names. You remember the automatic outs that manned the position after Doumit went down.
Doumit is a puzzle that we might never see solved. He just couldn’t stay healthy long enough to ever have that big breakout season. He followed up a solid 4.0 oWAR in 2008 with a .8 and a .9 in the following two years. Signing a one-year deal with the Twins seems a wise move on his part. I really trust he can do it, but history says otherwise.
The guy can flat out hit, and not getting behind the plate can only help his stroke. But we still think it’s a smart signing by Minnesota too, there are a lot worse three million dollar gambles on the free agent market. Ahem, Rod Barajas. Cough cough. Wait…he’s getting more than three million. Damn.