September 19: Padres (66-82) @ Pirates (56-89); Doumit starting in RF
No need to get in a frenzy. It’s not going to become a regular thing, manager John Russell said. But he does have Ryan Doumit playing right field on Saturday. Doumit hasn’t played the outfield since Aug. 13, 2007.
Russell’s explanation for the defensive placement: “We need some offense today.”
Delwyn Young is out with lingering back tightness. Andy LaRoche is sick and at home (questionable whether he’ll even come to the park today). And Garrett Jones is nursing a banged up right shoulder, the result of landing on it while making a diving play in Friday’s game. All three are questionable even to be able to pinch hit on Saturday.
With those three out, Lastings Milledge in left and Steve Pearce at first, that left Russell with either Doumit, Brandon Moss or Luis Cruz to play right field. Russell said he didn’t like the matchup of Moss vs. Padres LHP Clayton Richard. And he chose Doumit over Cruz simply because he hopes it will boost a watered down lineup.
Russell said that unless these starters don’t start healing soon, he doesn’t expect Doumit to be out in right field again after Saturday. And he certainly won’t be there with any regularity.
As for today’s other news, notes and randomness…
- Doumit has made 41 career appearances (36 starts) in right prior to Saturday. Of those starts, 33 came in 2007. This is his first outfield appearnce since Russell began managing the club.
- Doumit’s thoughts on being used as a catcher and right fielder: “I’m excited. There are other catchers who do this. Russell Martin’s done it. Jason Kendall used to do it here. I’m all for it. I’m excited for the opportunity to expand my horizons. … It’s an opportunity to run the ball down but, mostly, it’s a chance to show off my arm. I hope people try to run on me. I enjoy that part of it. … As far as I’m concerned, I had my time off by missing 2 1/2 months.”
- Doumit has hit .357 in September with three doubles, one homer, six RBIs. He has hit safely in 10 of 12 games he has played.
- In September, the Pirates, before today, hadn’t played a Saturday day game since Sept. 3, 2005. This is also the 17th time that the Pirates and either Pittsburgh Panthers or Steelers have played on the same day. The Panthers face Navy later this evening.
- With a win on Saturday, the Pirates would, at the least, seal a series split with the Padres. That might not seem notable until you consider that Pittsburgh has never split or won a series against San Diego at PNC Park. The Padres have taken each of the previous eight. Pittsburgh is 9-17 here against the Padres since 2001.
- Saturday will be the first time Brian Bixler and Robinzon Diaz have each played since both were recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on Sept. 8. This season, Bixler has struck out 23 times in 33 at-bats.
- Andrew McCutchen (CF)
- Ronny Cedeno (SS)
- Robinzon Diaz (C)
- Ryan Doumit (RF)
- Lastings Milledge (LF)
- Steve Pearce (1B)
- Neil Walker (3B)
- Brian Bixler (2B)
- Ross Ohlendorf (RHP)
- Everth Cabrera (SS)
- David Eckstein (2B)
- Adrian Gonzalez (1B)
- Chase Headley (3B)
- Will Venable (RF)
- Drew Macias (LF)
- Henry Blanco (C)
- Tony Gwynn Jr (CF)
- Clayton Richard (LHP)
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