Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

27 Dec

Ryan Doumit

Otherwise known as the guy they gave up on Sean Gilmartin for. Gilmartin was immediately seen as an overdraft in 2011, who hurt his shoulder in 2013, and who was traded for a utilityman/backup catcher frequently rated as the worst catcher in Major League Baseball.

Mac often complained that the easiest way for a backup catcher to acquire a reputation for good defense was to be a terrible hitter. Ryan Doumit is the opposite: a decent hitter for a backstop with an appallingly bad defensive reputation. Come to think of it, that basically makes him the Chris Johnson of catchers. Or, if you go back a few years, as a guy with a serviceable bat and defensive flexibility who you probably wouldn’t want to play exclusively at catcher, it makes him a lot like Eli Marrero.

Doumit was a Pittsburgh Pirate from 2005-2011, where he was mostly just a guy, but he had an awesome year in 2008 — .318/.357/.501 with 15 homers in 465 at-bats. That is not something he is likely to repeat.

But there would be a precedent for it. Eli Marrero, a throw-in in the J.D. DrewAdam Wainwright trade, played out of his mind in his single year in Atlanta, accumulating 280 plate appearances in 90 games and hitting .320/.374/.520 with 10 homers. (Drew was worth 8.3 rWAR, Marrero was worth 2.3 rWAR, and the Braves won their division by 10 games.) Marrero was a .243/.303/.411 hitter for his career; Doumit is a .268/.329/.438 hitter for his career. Doumit probably won’t hit like that, but it isn’t completely out of the realm of possibility.

As the everyday catcher an everyday player and part-time catcher for the Twins, Doumit has hit 32 homers the last two years. His terrible defense has taken a lot away from his bat, but he’s well-qualified as a part-time player. Though he is a switch-hitter, he shows a platoon split for his career, with a .785 OPS against RHP and a .719 OPS against LHP. Considering that Evan Gattis hits lefties better than righties, Doumit might be a reasonable choice for a spot start against a tough right-handed pitcher.

Like Gavin Floyd, Doumit provides good flexibility for the bench. He’s a lot better than a lot of the 25th men we’ve run out there before.

29 Responses to “Ryan Doumit”

  1. 1
    AA Says:

    Nice write up though I’d like to point out that Doumit has only caught 102 games the last two seasons while playing outfield 55 games and DH’ing 97 times.

    Seems like he’s going to assume Gattis’ role from last season.

  2. 2
    ryan c Says:

    Eli Marrero’s splits that year were eye-popping- 1.131 OPS against LHP.

    @1 I’d agree with the Gattis role with the exception being he’ll never catch as many games as Gattis did in ’13. He’ll be the insurance in case BJ blows again, or if the other corner OFs get hurt. I love the versatility off the bench, even if the defense is terrible. We have a great defensive team when the regulars are out there and I love that the Braves realized the usefulness of a guy like Doumit: switch-hitting pop off the bench that can give the outfielders, Freddie, and Gattis break. If Gamel breaks with the team, I think our bench is going to be great!

    Doumit, Schafer, Gamel, Pena, Laird…at least that’s how I’d draw it up.

  3. 3
    Smitty Says:


    I think that is fair. I would imagine he is our thrid catcher and will allow Larid or Gattis to come off the bench in a late inning situation.

    He can also spell Freddie or allow us to play Gattis in left if BJ is still broken.

  4. 4
    blazon Says:

    Can someone please supply correct phoenitic rendering of DOUMIT?? beware, you know what follows…

    Joe Posnanski seems to have finally shed his Penn State blues – it took a long time, my guess is he was totally distraught by what happened, the timing of it…what would you have done with half a million or whatever in the bank?

    Anyway, obsessions with the HOF apart, he is very much back on track, finally…there’s no one else at this level writing about sport – is there? candidates?* His piece on Paul Blair this morning is quite lovely, magnificent writing.

    *in which vein what has happened to Rob Neyer? Hardly in the same class but a fixture nonetheless who seems off the radar.

  5. 5
    Rob Cope Says:

    It’s all over SEC fans. Florida fixed its glaring weakness with a guy that moved the ball at Duke. We had a lot of success with the last guy that proved himself at Duke. SEC East champs. Calling it.

  6. 6
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    Thanks for the correction, @1, I have fixed it within the text.

    Blazon, Rob Neyer is one of the main guys over at Baseball Nation, the SB Nation blog.

    Correct phonetic pronunciation of “Doumit” is “DOH-mitt.”

  7. 7
    Nick Says:

    Try to keep the car on the road there, Rob.

  8. 8
    Anon21 Says:

    @3: I don’t think the Braves are looking to get Gattis any time in left.

  9. 9
    csg Says:

    Doumit or Schafer will be in left if BJ can’t bounce back. Gattis will be strictly our catcher and PH on his off days.

  10. 10
    Edward Says:

    Neyer’s so contemptuous. He’s very jealous of his appointed status as smartest guy in the room. Is anyone calling to hire him like they did with Bill James? I doubt it. He isn’t very creative.

    Posnanski’s top 100 thing going on right now is essential reading.

  11. 11
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I don’t think Neyer’s contemptuous or “jealous.” I don’t always agree with him, and I liked him better as a columnist than as a blogger, but I don’t read him in that way at all. I think you may be reading some things in.

  12. 12
    Edward Says:

    Why did you put my jealous in quotes? I meant it literally.

    Anyhow, it takes a petty soul to spend so many words nearly every day picking apart others’ work. Better writers don’t bother. Who exactly is Neyer advocating for?

  13. 13
    ububba Says:

    Might wanna make sure you can conquer Statesboro before you set your sights on the entire SEC East. ;)

    JC’d from previous thread:

    How good was Paul Blair as a defensive CF?

    His career dWAR was 18.6. Willie Mays’ was 18.1.

  14. 14
    blazon Says:

    thanks Alex…

    at first glance DOH-mitt is unrhymable (anybody?)

    so i shall resort to this…

    he has bad acne, must regularly visit a dohmittologist.

  15. 15
    Remy Says:



  16. 16
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    I think many bloggers spend most of their day picking apart others’ work. Again, I don’t think that blogging is his best medium. But I don’t think that he’s a jerk.

    For what it’s worth, I met him once, and he was a nice guy.

  17. 17
    blazon Says:

    @ 15

    examples please? the emphasis being on the first syllable throws me.

  18. 18
    Edward Says:

    That’s worth something, truly.

    On the other hand, I am of the impression that Rob Neyer can pick his assignments. I don’t much like what he picks.

  19. 19
    JonathanF Says:

    I’m comfortable predicting Doumit somewhere between Eli Marrero and Rico Brogna.

  20. 20
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    When I resolved to write a poem, it
    Was hard to write a rhyme for Doumit.
    This catcher hits, but has a slow mitt
    So when the pitcher tries to home it
    Into his zone, he tends to roam it.

  21. 21
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    @18, I imagine that you’re probably right. And that’s completely fair. I just wouldn’t be so quick to impute malign intent to him.

  22. 22
    Scump Says:


    The question we all have about Doumit
    Will he be utter, or merely faux shit?

  23. 23
    Rob Cope Says:


    Hey man, we’re going to beat Georgia Southern, North Dakota State, Appalachian State and allllll the powerhouses!

  24. 24
    Derek Says:

    Someone on YouTube posted games from the 1995 World Series in their entirety.

    Manny Ramirez batted 7th for the Indians in game one. 7th! His OPS + was 147 that year.

  25. 25
    blazon Says:


    First Prize.

  26. 26
    JonathanF Says:

    R Doumit
    Is so fit
    A pro hit!
    A throw? Shit.

  27. 27
    Smitty Says:

    Neyer’s Big Book of Baseball Lineups is great

  28. 28
    Mark Graybill Says:

    @26: For the win.

  29. 29
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    New thread.

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