Too many catchers


ST. LOUIS — There are a lot of catchers — two too many, actually — in the Pirates’ clubhouse, now that Chris Snyder is on his way here from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Ryan Doumit is on the DL with a concussion, his third such injury in a six-week span this year. He’s begun some light physical activities (yesteday, he played catch on the field) and is eligible to be re-activated Friday.

Erik Kratz and Jason Jaramillo have been splitting the playing time in Doumit’s absence. Kratz, who is a solid defender — he threw out three would-be base-stealers last night, the first time a Pirates catcher has done that since 1999 — has been getting most of the work.

The Pirates don’t need to carry more than two catchers. So, who goes?

Jaramillo, certainly, will head back to Triple-A Indianapolis. He’s a possible bridge from the end of the Snyder/Doumit era to the start of Tony Sanchez’s major league career. Sanchez was on a fast track until breaking his jaw this season, which set him back a bit.

Kratz, a career minor leaguer until last month, also will go back to Indy. That could change, however, if the Pirates flip Snyder to another team. So far, there are no indications that will happen.

Snyder and Doumit are very similar in age (both are 29), offensive and defense stats and contract situations. It would make no sense for the Pirates to tie up almost $11 million next season on a pair of catchers who have injury histories (Snyder has had back problems), are so-so defensively and offer limited offensive potential.

Stats-wise, Snyder is the better guy. Expect the Pirates to move Doumit this offseason.