Ryan Doumit, the Bucs cleanup-hitting catcher with the .350 average, suffered a fractured left thumb in the first
inning when a Phil Dumatrait fastball struck his glove awkwardly, and he will be out indefinitely.
"It's awfully disappointing for everybody," manager John Russell said. "But let's wait and see how long it is before
we get too down."
The positive X-rays taken at the stadium showed a small fracture on the tip of the thumb. Russell said he managed a
player in the minors last season who had that type of injury and that it usually takes anywhere from 10 days to
three weeks to recover.
If the fracture is deeper, that could sideline Doumit for a good chunk of the season.
Russell stressed that a complete diagnosis will not be available until today, when Doumit flies back to Pittsburgh
for an examination by Dr. Mark Baratz, the Pirates' hand specialist at Allegheny General Hospital.
"Obviously, it hurts," Doumit said. "I don't even know what to say. It couldn't have come at a worse time. I'm tired
of the cliches, about how things happen or things are going to get better. I'm tired of it all. It's frustrating."
Doumit has been a big factor in the lineup according to Russell.
"He's been a good threat and was handling it well," Russell explained. "He's come through with big hits and that's
what you’re looking for. He gave flexibility in the lineup and was a power-switch-hitter who drives in runs."
Pirates GM Neal Huntington felt bad for Doumit who worked very hard during the offseason.
"He's earned everything he's gotten," Huntington said of Doumit. "We gave him a small opportunity and he took it and ran with it and he's going to come back and he's going to come back strong. We'll have a feel today and in the coming days how much time he's going to have to miss. But it is unfortunate for him, but he'll be back and he'll be back strong."
The Pirates have recalled a catcher from Class AAA Indianapolis, and that was veteran defensive stalwart Raul Chavez, who is batting .306.
"Because we've got Chavez at Triple A we feel like we've got quality depth there," Huntington offered. "He is more than capable of being a major league backup catcher at this point in time. We've got some depth - obviously I don't know that we're going to replace Doumit's bat in the middle of our lineup. He's been a great presence there, but hopefully defensively we won't miss a beat and potentially even improve because as far as Doumit's work back there - he still is a work in progress.