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Pirates will Give Ryan Doumit Chance to Win Catching Job

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The Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates will give Ryan Doumit a chance to take Ronny Paulino's job. There's some interesting stuff in the article about Doumit's improvements this Spring:

One scout for another National League team said after seeing Doumit this week that his improved receiving, footwork and other nuances made him look like "a whole new catcher." Others in the Pirates' management express similar views.

Paulino's focus has been split between working to improve his defense and offense. His once-open stance at the plate has been closed slightly, and hitting coach Don Long's emphasis on driving pitches the other way has paid off nicely in batting practice.

But ...

He has struggled in some defensive drills, from allowing a series of popups to skip off his mitt Thursday to another humbling sequence yesterday.

Well, okay, that's great. But the article is written as if the idea of making Doumit the starting catcher is a completely new one, and I wouldn't be surprised if that were secretly Frank Coonelly and Neal Huntington's plan all along. My guess - and it's just a guess, totally speculative - is that Doumit will win the catching job regardless of what happens this spring. If Paulino outperforms him, they'll justify their decision based on Doumit's footwork or his attitude or  something. Whatever happens, this scenario will make it appear as if Coonelly and Huntington had been open-minded about the situation all along.

I don't know - maybe that's too much of a conspiracy theory. It could be way off. But I really wonder whether Coonelly and Huntington are as open-minded as they're saying they are about this and about the Nate McLouth/Nyjer Morgan job fight.

Obviously, I would fully support the Pirates' decision to make Doumit the starting catcher.