MILWAUKEE – GM Neal Huntington this afternoon shed a little – but only a little – light on Ryan Doumit’s benching midway through last night’s game. Huntington indicated he has not taken an active role in the situation. “It’s something that (manager John Russell) and Ryan are handling,” Huntington said. “I’m completely supportive of what JR feels is appropriate (to do) going forward.”
Neither Russell nor Doumit elaborated on what happened in the dugout last night. It may have been sparked by Doumit’s failure to run hard on a fly ball to center field in the fifth inning. It could have been something that’s built as Doumit sulked about the wave of trades last month.
“When I played and guys got traded, it’s usually a one- or two-day thing and then you move on,” Russell said. “You’ve got to be able to turn the page, and I think our guys have done that.”
One of the first stories I wrote in spring training this year concerned management’s hope that Doumit would emerge as more of a leader this season. This afternoon, I asked Huntington if he was satisfied with the leadership of Doumit, specifically.
Huntington’s response: “Given the (trades), we are looking for some guys to step forward. As you look at Paul (Maholm), Zach (Duke), Matt (Capps) and Ryan, they’re entering their fourth or fifth years of service. Ramon (Vazquez) is a veteran. We do need some leadership to come from somewhere. Ramon has stepped into that. We have some players who are at the point in their careers when they need to step up, they need to be the guys who establish and reinforce how we do things.”
• Lineups for tonight’s game (updated with Brewers info):
PIRATES (53-73) – 1. Andrew McCutchen cf, 2. Delwyn Young 2b, 3. Garrett Jones rf, 4. Andy LaRoche 3b, 5. Ryan Doumit c, 6. Lastings Milledge lf, 7. Steve Pearce 1b, 8. Luis Cruz ss, 9. Kevin Hart (4-3, 4.14) rhp
BREWERS (62-66) – 1. Felipe Lopez 2b, 2. Craig Counsell 3b, 3. Ryan Braun lf, 4. Prince Fielder 1b, 5. Mike Cameron cf, 6. Frank Catalanotto rf, 7. Jason Kendall c, 8. Alcides Escobar ss, 9. Yovani Gallardo (12-10, 3.51) rhp