The Pirates are contemplating keeping catcher Raul Chavez on the roster once Ryan Doumit is ready to return this weekend, and part of those ongoing discussions is the possibility of optioning Ronny Paulino to the minors.
Such a move, if it comes to pass, would represent a precipitous fall for Paulino, the team's starting catcher in 2006-07 until Doumit took most of the playing time this year...
At the same time, it would not come as much of a surprise.
I wrote about this idea a few days ago, so no need to rehash that argument, except to repeat that if Paulino won't hit--and let's be honest, most of the evidence in his major league record at this point that suggests that he won't--then Chavez makes more sense in a tandem with Doumit. Not because he "handles the rotation" well, as John Russell suggests, but because he can play defense and he'd be useful as a defensive sub in the late innings. I was pretty tentative about suggesting this a few days ago, but now that I've had more time to think about it and watch Chavez, I'm all for it.
This move may be a foregone conclusion at this point. Chavez has started five of the last six games. My guess is that Paulino will be sent down, and that he won't perform all that well in Class AAA, either. For whatever reason, he just isn't the same player he was in 2006. I hope he can straighten himself out.