Manager John Russell is preaching patience with Ryan Doumit at right field, where the now-backup catcher made his third start of the season and second in two days on Tuesday.
Doumit has misplayed a couple of balls, both times putting runners on base who would later score, but before last week Doumit hadn’t played right field since September 2009. Last night was just his 40th career start at the position.
“He’s working at it but it’s going to take some time for him to get a lot more comfortable,” Russell said. “He’s starting to move better, he’s coming in on some balls better. The one tonight he probably could have come in and got it, but he’s making progress. It’s one of those things that’s going to take a little time for him to be really comfortable out there.”
Last week in San Diego, his first start in right, Doumit let a shot from Miguel Tejada drop in front of him. Had he caught it, the inning would have ended with no runs scored and the Padres up just 1-0. Instead, the Padres scored three in an eventual 8-5 win.
Last night he played the ball off the bounce in the sixth inning – and heard some boos because of it – to put Wes Helms on first. Helms scored on a Ricky Nolasco double two batters later.
“It’s just not knowing, ‘Should I really go in, will the ball get by me,’ things like that that outfielders think about,” Russell said of Doumit’s biggest issue adjusting to right, where he’s getting some playing time now with Chris Snyder the regular catcher. “Again, once he’s out there and sees more reads and knows what he can really go get and what he shouldn’t go get it’ll better for him.”