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Huntington calls leaders to step up

Huntington calls leaders to step up

MILWAUKEE -- Without elaborating on what prompted manager John Russell to bench catcher Ryan Doumit in the middle of Friday's game, both Russell and general manager Neal Huntington briefly addressed the issue, albeit in general terms, on Saturday.

Doumit, who was removed for an undisclosed disciplinary issue in the middle of the fifth on Friday, was not in the starting lineup on Saturday. However, asked if Doumit's absence from the lineup was directly related to whatever occurred on Friday, Russell responded: "No. Not really. We had already talked about [playing Jason] Jaramillo."

Still, Russell would not confirm whether Doumit would play in Sunday's series finale against the Brewers on Sunday. He answered only: "We'll see."

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Huntington, who made the trip to Milwaukee with the club, would also not go into much detail, saying, "It's something that JR and Ryan are handling, and I'm supportive of what JR feels is appropriate going forward. There is really nothing more to talk about than that."

The specifics of what transpired could very well be something that was building up and not simply a singular incident. Doumit went 0-for-3 on Friday, though there appeared no glaring on-field issue that might had dictated his being removed from the game.

However, Doumit has not been hesitant to express his displeasure at a number of the trades the Pirates made this summer, and at times, his behavior has also reflected that. Without singling out Doumit or citing any particular incident, Huntington expressed the need for everyone, by this point, to have moved on.

"I would be disappointed if we were still feeling the loss," Huntington said. "I understand our friends, our teammates and some of our mentors are gone. I think it's time we step up and move beyond it. There are several guys on this team who have done that, and it's time for us as an organization to recognize that there are some good things going on here and that we're looking for people who are going to be a part of that going forward."

Huntington made a public call for clubhouse leaders, outside of Ramon Vazquez, to soon begin emerging.

"I think, given the moves, we are looking for some guys to step forward and candidly need guys to step forward," continued Huntington. "As you look at Paul [Maholm], Zach [Duke] and Ryan, they are in that group of players who are entering their fourth year and fifth year of service -- we do need some leadership to come from somewhere. We have players who are getting to that point in their career where they need to step up. And they need to be the ones who establish how we do things and reinforce how we do things."

Huntington also emphasized that whatever issue is currently being worked out between management and Doumit, it is by no means grounds for the catcher to be traded.

"This isn't going to be the first time that one of our players experiences a disciplinary issue," Huntington said. "It's not going to be the last time. The response isn't always going to be to get him out of here. It's not in this situation. It's a situation that happened. JR and Ryan are going to handle it and we expect to move beyond it, move forward, learn from it and expand beyond it and grow beyond it."

Pitching matchup
PIT: RHP Ross Ohlendorf (11-8, 4.10 ERA)
Ohlendorf left in line for his fourth straight win, only to have the bullpen blow the lead late in his last start. Pitching against a tough left-handed-heavy Phillies lineup, Ohlendorf allowed just two solo homers in 6 1/3 innings. Not usual for the righty, most of his outs were recorded via fly ball, a result of the Phils not biting at his sinker all that much. Ohlendorf has beaten the Brewers in each of his two career starts against them. In 12 innings against Milwaukee, Ohlendorf has allowed just three earned runs.

MIL: RHP Jeff Suppan (5-8, 5.38 ERA)
In his return from the disabled list, Suppan slogged through 4 1/3 innings against the Reds on Tuesday with 90 pitches and was charged with four runs on nine hits and five walks, though one of the walks was intentional. The good news was that the rib-cage injury that sidelined him nearly a month was a non-issue. The bad news was that Suppan remained winless in the Majors since June 12. He pitched at least six innings in three of his nine starts since then, but in the other six he's allowed 32 earned runs and 50 hits in 29 1/3 innings.

Tidbits
The Pirates have not named a starter for the first game of Monday's doubleheader against the Reds. Phil Dumatrait remains a candidate. Maholm has been confirmed as the starter for the night cap. ... Right-hander Jose Ascanio (right shoulder tendinitis) resumed throwing for the first time Saturday. He did some light toss and will do so again on Sunday as he get on to his return-to-pitch program. ... Ronny Cedeno (fractured right pinky) continues to improve and the hope is that he'll be ready to return to the lineup for Sunday's series finale. ... Left-hander Donnie Veal continues to work through his Minor League rehab assignment with Double-A Altoona. He has so far pitched eight innings in four appearances. He has allowed one run on three hits and four walks and has struck out 10. He is eligible to come off the disabled list at any time and is likely to do so at the start of September.

Tickets
 Buy tickets now to catch the game in person.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSN-HD

On radio
• WPGB-FM 104.7

Up next
• Monday: Pirates (Paul Maholm, 7-7, 4.59) at Reds (Kip Wells, 0-3, 5.85), 1:10 p.m. ET
• Monday: Pirates (TBD) at Reds (Johnny Cueto, 8-10, 4.61), 7:10 p.m. ET
• Tuesday: Pirates (Charlie Morton, 3-6, 5.00) at Reds (TBD), 7:10 p.m. ET

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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