PITTSBURGH -- After catchings a full game for Triple-A Indianapolis on Tuesday, Ryan Doumit returned to Pittsburgh, where he rejoined the Major League club for Wednesday's game against the Cubs.
Doumit has been on the disabled list since spraining his left ankle in a May 29 loss in Chicago. His rehab stint included a short stay with Class A Bradenton before he joined Indianapolis last week. He caught nine innings for the first time on Saturday and after Tuesday will have caught back-to-back games.
General manager Neal Huntington noted that Doumit's at-bats have started to look better in recent days. After going hitless in his first three Triple-A games, Doumit has four hits in 12 at-bats.
"Ryan, unfortunately, has never swung the bat all that well in a rehab assignment," Huntington said. "In some cases he's come back and done well. In some cases he's come back and struggled. It's just more a matter of timing and confidence."
The Pirates sent coach Mark Strittmatter to work with Doumit, particularly on the defensive side, and perhaps that is still the biggest question mark. Eleven runners have attempted to steal off Doumit in four Triple-A games, and all reached safely.
Is that an area of concern?
"You'd certainly like to see more caught-stealings in that group," Huntington said. "But how much of it is our young pitchers' fault? How much of it is Ryan's? ... Do we need him to be better up here? Sure. But to hold him down there until he catches a guy is probably not the best use of our resources."
The Pirates sent down Eric Fryer, who has been serving as a backup to Michael McKenry. Pittsburgh will also have to make a move to clear a spot for Doumit on the 40-man roster.