Now Commenting On:

Doumit adjusting to bench role with Braves

Doumit adjusting to bench role with Braves play video for Doumit adjusting to bench role with Braves

SAN FRANCISCO -- When Ryan Doumit learned he had been traded by the Twins to the Braves in December, he was excited about the opportunity to play for a legitimate playoff hopeful for the first time in his career. But at the same time, he knew he had to mentally prepare himself for his new primary role as a pinch-hitter.

While spending the previous seven seasons with the Pirates and Twins, Doumit was a lineup regular who spent time as a catcher, outfielder and designated hitter. But this year has been a different story for the 33-year-old veteran, who made his fourth start of the season when he served as Atlanta's left fielder in Sunday's win over the Cubs.

Doumit has spent this season's first six weeks adjusting to life as a backup. The 17 pinch-hit at-bats he had compiled entering Monday were three fewer than the career-high total he notched in 2006 and 2011 with the Pirates.

"It's an adjustment," Doumit said. "It's a hard gig. I can't imagine anything harder in this game than pinch-hitting. You've got one chance and normally you're facing a closer or setup man who has tremendous stuff, throwing 96 or 97 with an out pitch. This is a result-oriented game. But as a pinch-hitter, you just try to put your stock in having good at-bats. You just have to try to go up there and not give at-bats away."

Doumit had a conversation about his new role with former Braves pinch-hit artist and current Cubs first-base coach Eric Hinske on Saturday. A few hours later, he drilled a game-winning double that improved his batting average as a pinch-hitter to .235 (4-for-17).

After gaining some satisfaction in that win over the Cubs, Doumit delivered a pair of hits when he had a chance to start Sunday afternon's series finale.

"I still look at myself as an everyday guy," Doumit said. "I know I can still play and I know I can still be productive. There has been an adjustment to this role because I've never done it before. But I'm not going to lose my identity as a baseball player. I'm just going to roll with the punches and be prepared whenever I do get a chance to play."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español