PITTSBURGH -- After Thursday's game, the Pirates decided to option catcher Ronny Paulino to the Minors, and activated fellow catcher Ryan Doumit from the disabled list to replace him on the big league roster.

The decision was anticipated all week after Paulino continually found himself on the bench in favor of 35-year-old Raul Chavez.

The Pirates still see Paulino in their future plans, but decided to send down the 27-year-old so he can work on his defense, game-calling, and most importantly, his hitting. Paulino was batting .218 with two home runs and 18 RBIs at the time of his demotion.

"[It's] just to get him back to what he can be -- to work and get himself back to the Major League catcher that he can be," Pirates manager John Russell said. "We're definitely not giving up on him. We just liked to see him play more and get some more reps in."

Paulino, although visibly upset, saw it as a chance to get better.

"What can I say?" he said. "The way I look at it is an opportunity to go there and play every day and work where they tell me to work, and come back here as soon as possible.

"Those two guys that they're going to have here, they've been doing such a great job," Paulino continued. "I don't think it's been a surprise for me because they've been taking care of the opportunity they've been having. I just need to focus on me now."

Russell said everything went according to plan for Doumit during his three-game stay at Double-A Altoona and fully expects the Pirates' young catcher to contribute right away.

"He'll play," Russell said.