Last season, Garrett Jones enjoyed a terrific season, including a team-high 21 home runs (his second straight season with 21 home runs).
On the contrary, Ryan Doumit struggled throughout the season, finishing with a .251 average and just 45 RBI’s.
Despite their two contrasting seasons in 2010, both Jones and Doumit did not know whether or not they would be the Opening Day starters heading into the season.
However, manager Clint Hurdle feels that Jones brings more to the table than newly acquired Matt Diaz, whereas Doumit won the spot because of an injury to Chris Snyder.
But no matter the circumstance, it’s important that both of these players perform right away in order to stay on the field.
Doumit has the biggest need to succeed right now because once Snyder is ready to go, the Pirates will most likely insert him into the lineup…unless that is, Doumit plays at a high level early on. Seeing that Snyder is “probable” to start the season off on the DL because of back soreness, Doumit will have two weeks to impress the staff.
Jones, on the other hand, has a platoon-mate in Diaz, who signed with the Pirates in the offseason. Although he was one of the team’s leaders last season, many believed that Diaz would start the season ahead of Jones.
In my opinion, the Pirates present their best lineup when Jones is in the lineup. Doumit is a good player, but because of his struggles last season, and Snyder’s impressive numbers a year ago (.320 average), I have to say that Snyder is the better option.
But don’t get me wrong, Doumit has the potential to be the starter, but he must earn it in the first two weeks of the season.