Ryan Doumit in right field?
It was no big deal to deploy the Pirates' catcher in the outfield, manager John Russell insisted yesterday, even though there had been no indication such a move was coming, even though Doumit had not played there since Aug. 13, 2007.
"We just need some offense today," Russell said, citing matchups and multiple injuries.
It was "absolutely not," Russell stressed, a sign that the team is considering a long-term move, adding that it is unlikely the move will be made again this season.
Doumit was as taken aback by the lineup as anyone, but hardly disappointed.
"I'm excited," he said. "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."
Doumit's start in right field was the 37th of his career, and it came after minimal practice leading up to this.
The rust showed a bit: In the second inning, he double-clutched what should have been a double for San Diego's Will Venable, turning it into a triple. Otherwise, he fielded the position cleanly.
First baseman/outfielder Garrett Jones was out of the lineup -- and will be again today -- because of a sore right shoulder, the result of that diving stop on Drew Macias' bouncer Friday.
He remained in the game but he barely was able to raise the shoulder yesterday morning, and an arthrogram convinced the team to keep him out.
"It should be OK after a couple games," Jones said.
This might not have cushioned the blow, but Jones' gem was selected as the No. 1 Top Play on ESPN's "SportsCenter."
Joel Hanrahan, the Pirates' best reliever of late, was held out yesterday because of mild soreness in his right elbow.
It began about 10 days ago, and he pitched through it, but the staff took the cautious route in keeping him out for the weekend. He will be re-evaluated tomorrow.
"It's not serious," Hanrahan said.
The following are the notable players who will be out of options in 2010: Jones, outfielder Brandon Moss, catcher Robinzon Diaz, and pitchers Jose Ascanio, Jeff Karstens, Denny Bautista, Chris Bootcheck, Phil Dumatrait, Craig Hansen and Virgil Vasquez.
The following are the notable prospects who must be added to the 40-man roster or risk being lost in the Rule 5 draft: outfielder Gorkys Hernandez and pitchers Brad Lincoln and Bryan Morris.
• Reliever Jesse Chavez, already at 68 appearances in his rookie year, will pitch no more than three or four more times this season.
• Diaz made his first start since being recalled Sept. 8 from Class AAA Indianapolis.
• Third baseman Andy LaRoche missed a second game to illness and is likely to sit out today, too.