Ronny Paulino, signed as an amateur by the Pirates 11 years ago and traded this past offseason, sounded plenty pleased to be catching for Florida, a team that had liked him for years and finally got him in a March 27 trade.
"I really like it here. I'm happy," he said. "I like being close to the Dominican, and I like the team. The guys are all really together. Everybody has everybody's back. And we're winning, too, with somebody different every game making the difference."
Any ill will toward the Pirates?
"No, not at all. That's the team that gave me my chance to play professional ball and to be in the big leagues. Everything that happened in the last year, that's just business."
Paulino, batting .333 with a home run in the early going, is backing up John Baker. He is expected to start the matinee series finale tomorrow.
Pitcher Phil Dumatrait, on the 15-day disabled list while recovering from left shoulder surgery, threw a seamless five-inning game Saturday in extended spring training and has another 90-pitch session scheduled for tomorrow.
There remains no timetable for a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
• With the game tonight threatened by rain, one remote possibility in the event of a postponement is to play Thursday, a mutual off-day for both teams. But the Pirates have a scheduled flight that day to San Diego and would not want to delay that.
• The loss of Doumit left the Pirates without a backup -- or emergency -- catcher. Newly acquired outfielder Delwyn Young has experience there. So does pitcher Jeff Karstens, having caught at Mount Miguel High School in California.
• Karstens, set to make his second start tonight, expects better than the first, when he allowed three runs on four hits and five walks to the Houston Astros. "I'll definitely be ready," he said.