Pirates dealt another blow behind the plate
By John Grupp
Published: Friday, June 10, 2011
A couple of weeks ago, catcher Ryan Doumit looked like a trading chip for the Pirates.
Now, the sellers are buyers.
With Chris Snyder undergoing surgery Friday on a herniated disc in his lower back, and the Pirates down to a pair of reserve Triple-A catchers, manager Clint Hurdle said it's time to look outside the organization for a quality backstop.
"Yes," he said. "But wanting to go outside and having the ability to make something happen are two different things."
So, for now, Dusty Brown and newly promoted Wyatt Toregas, who have a combined 39 games of major league experience, will handle the Pirates' catching chores.
"We'll see how it goes," Hurdle said. "The game is going to let us know."
Snyder, who was placed on the 15-day DL, is sidelined indefinitely after aggravating his lower back sliding into second base Wednesday. Surgery on the L5-S1 disc will typically keep a patient away from work for 4 to 6 weeks, according to medical websites.
Doumit (ankle) is out until at least late July.
It doesn't end there. The Pirates' third-string catcher, Jason Jaramillo (elbow), is on the Triple-A disabled list and just started rehabbing in Bradenton, Fla. He is likely at least two weeks away from returning.
One option is Jake Fox, designated for assignment by the Orioles last week. About a dozen teams have a better waiver spot than the Pirates, who should learn Friday if the claim was awarded.
Fox, 28, hit .231 with 20 homers and 71 RBI in four seasons with the Chicago Cubs, Oakland A's and Orioles. In his lone season in the NL, Fox hit .259 with 11 home runs and 44 RBI with the Cubs in 2007.
Whoever catches for the Pirates, they won't replace a Doumit-Snyder duo at the plate.
Brown and Toregas, who was called up from Triple-A Indianapolis on Thursday, have combined for three extra-base hits in their major-league careers. Toregas was batting .034 (1 for 29) with eight strikeouts in Indianapolis. In his only previous big-league stint, he hit .176 in 19 games with the Cleveland Indians in '09.
"I do have the jitters," he said. "But they are not the same. I think this time I have a better idea of what's coming my way."
Most importantly, the club wants quality defense and handlers of a pitching staff that ranks fifth in the NL.
"Our job is to make sure the pitching staff doesn't skip a beat," Brown said. "I think we will be able to do that."
Charlie Morton, who starts Friday against the Mets, said the new catchers will get a head start receiving one of the NL's top staffs.
"I think as a pitching staff we've identified what's working," he said. "It's not going to be too tough to tell a catcher what's been working, and it's not going to be too tough for them to see what's working. I think we will be just fine."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates notebook: Walker’s razor a right-handed swing solution
- Cueto gets best of Bucs, as Reds take series
- Breaking down Thursday’s Pirates-Brewers game
- Pirates notebook: Wandy Rodriguez experiencing decline in fastball velocity
- Previewing Wednesday’s Pirates-Reds game
- Polanco off to red-hot start at Triple-A Indianapolis
- One-time Bucs pitching prospect now a promising power hitter
- Pirates gameday
- Stats Corner: Pedro adds contact, patience to power game
- Biertempfel: Expect less yelling with MLB’s replay system
- Pirates notebook: Rivalry with Reds resumes