Pirates Notebook: Jaramillo tied to Snyder's return
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When Chris Snyder's back allows him to come back, Jason Jaramillo is out of a big league job.
While manager Clint Hurdle didn't come right out and say that's what is going to happen, he did say this Sunday when asked if the team would have three catchers on the roster once Snyder is healthy: "No. We are not best served that way."
The catching situation is this:
• Snyder is the starter. He has a back injury but since Saturday he has been eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list. He has been going through a rehabilitation assignment at Class A Bradenton since late last week.
There is no timetable on when he will return, although Hurdle said, "He's moving in the right direction."
• Ryan Doumit is Snyder's backup, but has been the starter through the early portion of the season. General manager Neal Huntington stated in the offseason and in spring training that the club was shopping Doumit, who is due to make $5.1 million this season.
• Jaramillo made the Pirates for the third consecutive season out of spring training. He has started three of the first nine games and is Doumit's backup.
After Hurdle said the team will not carry three catchers -- a notion he said was only a possibility this winter at PirateFest -- there was a logical follow-up question. Does that mean Jaramillo is destined for Class AAA Indianapolis as soon as Snyder is healthy?
"I don't need to say that publicly because there is a human being out there," Hurdle said. "You might not care about that human being, I do."
Does Hurdle believe Jaramillo will have a tough time keeping his focus knowing he could be sent to the minors in a few days?
"You control what you can control," Hurdle said. "Things out of your control, you let go. And that's not easy, but it is going to serve you best. Because the thing you don't want to have happen is you get an opportunity to play and you are thinking about what might happen three days from now."
Is it possible once Snyder is healthy to have him as the starter, Jaramillo as the backup and Doumit as a utility player who could see time at catcher, first base and right field? After all, Doumit is a switch hitter and has played 58 games in right field and 32 at first base for the Pirates.
Hurdle eschewed that idea.
"It would not be fair to Ryan," he said. "Ryan has not taken one rep at right field or first base. And on the depth chart, he would be last of three or four guys I would send out there."
With right-handed starter Ross Ohlendorf on the 15-day disabled list with an injured right shoulder, there is a need for another starter. The new guy in the rotation could get a start as early as Thursday.
"We certainly have a number of contingency plans," Huntington said. "But what one we've put forward, we haven't decided."
The likely candidates are Jeff Karstens, Brian Burres and Brad Lincoln.
Karstens, the Pirates' swingman, is stretched out to where he can make a start.
Lincoln, on the club's 15-day disabled list, made a rehab start in Class AAA Indianapolis Sunday and Burres, who is not on the 40-man roster, is in Indianapolis and started for the Indians Thursday.
The Pirates enjoy their first day off today. They were the only major league team to play 10 consecutive games to start the season. ... Pirates left fielder Jose Tabata has hit safely in every game.
First Published April 11, 2011 12:00 am