PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Pirates optioned former
starting third baseman Ty Wigginton to Triple-A Indianapolis after
Saturday night's 1-0 loss to Atlanta and recalled
catcher-outfielder Ryan Doumit from their top farm club.
Wigginton, unhappy last week after Freddy Sanchez was named the
starting third baseman, was disappointed with the demotion.
"Obviously, I'm not happy -- this is what you've worked your
whole life for," the 27-year-old Wigginton said.
Wigginton, acquired from the Mets in the Kris Benson trade last
season, was off to a slow start, with a .204 average, 5 homers and
11 RBI in 103 at-bats. But he rebounded from a similar poor start
last year to hit .285 with 12 homers and 42 RBI in 86 games with
Wigginton was benched just after a stretch in which he hit five
homers in eight starts. He initially lost playing time a few weeks
into the season when Rob Mackowiak began platooning with him at
third, and again a week ago when Sanchez was told he would begin
Wigginton was convinced he would have hit his way out of his
slump if the Pirates had given him more at-bats.
"He'll benefit from playing, and maybe we can get him
jump-started," general manager Dave Littlefield said.
Doumit, a second-round draft pick in 1999, has emerged as one of
the Pirates' top prospects with a .344 average, 12 homers and 35
RBI at Indianapolis. He will catch occasionally, although the
Pirates already are carrying catchers Humberto Cota and David Ross,
play the outfield and be a designated hitter in American League
parks during some upcoming interleague games.