Pirates sign catcher Kelly Shoppach


One thing the Pittsburgh Pirates needed to add for the stretch run was another veteran catcher.

They did that on Monday when they came to terms on a minor league deal with nine-year veteran Kelly Shoppach.

May 21, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners catcher Kelly Shoppach (7) before the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Shoppach has spent time this year with Seattle and Washington, before being released on July 31st by the Nationals. He hit for a .196/.293/.346 line in 107 at-bats with Seattle in the majors, which is well below his career .726 OPS.

But with Michael McKenry out for the season, the Pirates needed catching depth and Shoppach is as good as anything they were going to find at this stage in the season.

The Pirates assigned Shoppach to Triple-A Indianapolis which means he will likely be promoted to the big club when rosters expand on September 1.

Other than a few at bats during the final month of the season, possibly to give Russell Martin some extra rest, you really shouldn’t see much of Shoppach.

Tony Sanchez will continue to serve as Martin’s primary backup, but the Shoppach signing makes sense if either Sanchez or Martin gets hurt.

Shoppach owns just a .204/.289/.367 slash line against right-handed pitching in his career but owns a healthy .261/.355/.501 batting line against southpaws, which could make him somewhat useful against left-handed pitching.

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