PHILADELPHIA -- While Ryan Doumit is only getting work behind the plate while with Triple-A Indianapolis, the Pirates have not ruled out using Doumit in right field or at first base when he is ready to return to Pittsburgh.
Putting Doumit out in the field and leaving Michael McKenry behind the plate would be one way the Bucs could try to upgrade their offense. Doumit has played 60 games in right field and 35 games at first in his big league career. This year, the Pirates have gotten a .238 average, 18 homers and 86 RBIs from its first basemen and right fielders.
"It has been an internal conversation but again, I think we're best suited to take it one step at a time," manager Clint Hurdle said. "We have had that conversation -- actually, we had it in the coach's room the day before."
For now, the focus is on having Doumit get back into an offensive rhythm and comfortable catching. Both are taking some time, too. Doumit has played three games since joining the Triple-A team and is hitless in 10 at-bats. Runners have seven stolen bases off him in seven attempts.
Doumit is scheduled to be Indianapolis' designated hitter on Friday and, on Saturday, will catch nine innings for the first time in his rehab stint. After pinch-hitting on Sunday, Doumit will catch back-to-back games early next week. The Pirates will reevaluate his status after that, though the club will not bring Doumit back up until they are confident he has had enough at-bats.
"We're going to see where he is offensively," Hurdle said. "We're waiting for his bat to spark. Right now, he's got some work to do just to get the at-bats and see the pitches."
Leroux on DL with calf strain; Ciriaco called up
PHILADELPHIA -- Reliever Chris Leroux landed on the disabled list on Friday, retroactive to Thursday, with a left calf strain. The Pirates called up utility infielder Pedro Ciriaco to fill the open spot on the 25-man roster.
Leroux felt some soreness and tightness in his calf, but was unable to work through it, general manager Neal Huntington said. Because the Pirates were already short on the bench, they opted to make the move Friday.
Leroux wasn't likely to be with the Major League club much longer anyway, as the Bucs were going to revert to a seven-man relief corps once the bullpen got rested. Leroux had been called up Wednesday after the 'pen had to cover 13 1/3 innings the night before. The Pirates have been playing with a four-man bench since.
Leroux took the loss in Wednesday's game when he gave up a walk-off single in the 10th.
Ciriaco has been up and down between Indianapolis and Pittsburgh all season, and has spent almost all of his time in Pittsburgh on the bench. He can serve as a backup at any infield spot and is also an option to come off the bench and pinch-run.
Ohlendorf makes first Triple-A rehab start
PHILADELPHIA -- Ross Ohlendorf threw 73 pitches in a five-inning rehab start with Triple-A Indianapolis on Friday. The outing was the fourth Ohlendorf has made in his return from a right shoulder strain but his first at the top Minor League level.
Charlotte used three singles to plate a run off Ohlendorf in the first. Those were the only hits he would allow all night. His only blemishes in his final four innings were three walks. He threw 42 of his 73 pitches for strikes.
"Physically, I felt really good," Ohlendorf said afterward. "I feel like I did a good job continuing to progress with the things I've been working on. I felt, more so than the other starts, that I got into the game and was competing. I was happy with the results."
The Pirates have not revealed what Ohlendorf's next step will be, though he could be ready to come off the disabled list now that he has stretched himself to such a high pitch count. That return could come as a starter or a reliever. The Pirates also have the option of having him make an even longer start for Indianapolis next week.
"I felt like I could have pitched more tonight," Ohlendorf said. "I was kind of surprised I didn't go out for another inning. I feel like I can pitch deeper into the game than I did. It's not up to me right now."
Outfielder Matt Diaz had a gift from the ballpark security team waiting for him upon his arrival on Friday. During Atlanta's last trip to Philadelphia in 2010, Diaz gave the security folks an assist by helping trip a man who had run onto the field in a red body suit. Apparently the security team didn't forget the gesture, as they left Diaz a blue Citizens Bank Security shirt in his locker.
Catcher Chris Snyder will visit a physical therapist on Tuesday to have another checkup on his back. There is a chance Snyder could be cleared to resume sports-specific workouts after that visit. The only baseball-type exercises Snyder has done since having back surgery in early June is squatting as if he were giving signs to the pitcher. There is still no clear timetable for when Snyder might return.
After being taxed in Atlanta on Tuesday, the Pirates' bullpen is nearly back to full strength. Daniel McCutchen, who threw 92 pitches in that 19-inning game, should be available again beginning Saturday. Joe Beimel was the only other pitcher questionable for Friday.
With his win on Thursday, Kevin Correia became the first Pirates hurler since Burleigh Grimes in 1929 to win 10 road games before the end of July.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.