Ryan Doumit activated, Erik Kratz demoted

The Pittsburgh Pirates activated Ryan Doumit from the 15-day disabled list today, and demoted Erik Kratz to make room for Doumit on the 25-man roster.  The move is somewhat surprising, as Kratz was the backup catcher to Chris Snyder, and the Pirates have said they want to get Doumit a lot of playing time, working out of right field, first base, and catching. The only other option to be demoted was Jeff Clement, who has gone 3-for-6 with two homers since being recalled.  Argenis Diaz is the only middle infielder, and Andy LaRoche and Delwyn Young are both out of options.

Doumit will serve as the backup catcher, but since Clement can catch in an emergency situation, the Pirates aren’t going to hesitate using Doumit off the bench. I’ve never really been a fan of the backup catcher role, as it is pretty much a wasted roster spot.  You can’t use that player as a pinch hitter, in fear that your catcher gets injured later in the game, leaving you with no one to catch.  I’ve always felt that the benefit of that extra hitter usually outweighs the small chance that your regular catcher would go down.  Worst case scenario: your regular catcher goes down and you lose one game because of it.

The Pirates not only have Clement as an emergency catching option, but they also have Neil Walker for the role.  Kratz will likely return once the rosters expand in September.  As for Doumit, it’s important for him to get as much playing time as possible.  He’s become a very expensive backup catcher, and even as a utility player in 2011 he will be costly.  The Pirates can easily afford his price, but it’s not the best use of their funds.  The Pirates need Doumit’s bat to come around the rest of the season.  Then they could either use him in a platoon situation, perhaps in right field with Lastings Milledge, or deal him away in the off-season once he has more value.

Share This Article

Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

State College Spikes Game Notes – August 7 vs. Tri-City

Next Story »

Doumit returns from DL

Latest Analysis

  • Connor Joe 2

    Meet Connor Joe: The First Round Pick You Know Nothing About

    4 hours ago

    This site is now in its seventh year of existence. For the last four years, I’ve been doing this full-time, allowing me to see every affiliate throughout the year, along ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    What is the Difference Between Mel Rojas and Keon Broxton?

    20 hours ago

    Mel Rojas Jr. was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third round of the 2010 MLB draft. The son of the former big league closer had ...

    Read More
  • Jose Tabata

    The Details of Jose Tabata’s New Swing

    2 days ago

    On Friday I wrote about how Jose Tabata talked to Marlon Byrd over the off-season, aimed at changing his swing to add some leverage, lift the ball, ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    What Led to Keon Broxton’s Breakout Year in Altoona?

    3 days ago

    Keon Broxton used to be one of the top prospects in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ farm system. Baseball America ranked him as high as tenth in the system ...

    Read More
  • Adrian Sampson

    Don’t Forget About This Pitcher When Creating Your Pirates Dream Rotation

    4 days ago

    If you’re setting up a dream rotation for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the not-too-distant future, then you’re going to be throwing out names like Tyler Glasnow, Gerrit ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    Jose Tabata Changed His Swing After Talking With Marlon Byrd

    5 days ago

    Yesterday, Jose Tabata put one on the roof of the batting cages over the left-field fence at Pirate City. Today, he added two more. By that pattern, ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles