Pirates Notebook: Doumit's recovery going 'great'

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Three weeks from the next CT scan that could allow him to return to play and four weeks from the original end date of his predicted absence, catcher Ryan Doumit yesterday declared his surgically repaired right wrist "great" and his recovery on schedule.

Not that the glacial pace enthralls him.

"Luckily for me, the decisions aren't up to me, because I'd want to go out there and try to play right now with how good my wrist feels," he said. When he begins a rehabilitation assignment and ultimately returns behind the plate "that will be up to the powers that be. Right now, my wrist feels great. I got great feedback from the doctor. The doctor seemed more excited than I was" after a Thursday CT scan showed the appropriate healing to the previously broken scaphoid bone.

Doumit might resume bullpen catching as soon as today, but he still isn't allowed to throw with his right hand while some baseball-related activities remain prohibited for the time being.

He is scheduled to return in mid-June for a potentially clearing CT scan: "Now that there's a little light at the end of the tunnel ... I'm antsy. I'm anxious to get back."

Asked if it has been difficult to sit out the 36 games since the April 19 injury originally expected to keep him from playing for eight to 10 weeks, Doumit responded: "You have no idea. [But] I would rather be around here, though -- around the guys -- than rotting somewhere in Florida."

Snell gets 'tune-up'

Starter Ian Snell, winless in seven outings with four losses and three quality starts since April 18, had a private session with pitching coach Joe Kerrigan before batting practice yesterday.

"Trying to get some consistency with what he's doing out of the stretch," Russell said of what he termed a tune-up. "Keep him acquainted with throwing inside, so he has something to attack left-handed hitters. He was doing that very well, [but] the last couple of starts he struggled a little bit."

Russell said they also worked a bit on pitch selection. Snell gave up eight hits, six earned runs and four walks in five innings Tuesday at Wrigley Field.

Office layoffs

The Pirates terminated eight-full time employees on the business side of their operations, through layoffs or buyouts.

Among those accepting a buyout was June Schaut, executive assistant to team president Frank Coonelly and, before Coonelly, former owner Kevin McClatchy. Most of the rest were in sales.

The cuts, which amount to roughly 3 percent of the business staff, were made as part of what the team described as a "restructuring" to increase efficiency.

"While any reduction in staff is difficult on a personal level, we decided it was appropriate at this juncture to streamline the business side," Coonelly said. "After the restructuring, we still have more full-time employees in revenue-generating positions than at this point last year."

Coonelly stressed that neither the baseball budget nor operations will be affected.

Buried treasure

• Recovering from elbow soreness that placed him on the disabled list three weeks ago, Tyler Yates still hasn't pitched from a mound. Meantime, fellow reliever Craig Hansen will miss four more weeks after tests yesterday showed an inflammation of the nerve that controls the trapezius muscle across the neck, shoulders and back. Another test is scheduled for Monday for Hansen, on the disabled list since April 19.

• The opening of Josh Gibson Field, earlier delayed due to bad weather, is rescheduled for 2 p.m. today at the former Ammon Field in the Hill District. The complex was renovated thanks to donations from Pirates Charities, the City of Pittsburgh, Del Monte, the Grable Foundation and The Baseball Tomorrow Fund, which is expected to be represented today by former Pirates player Bobby Bonilla.



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