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. Drew–Adam 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.