PITTSBURGH (93-7 THE FAN) — As the Pirates prepare for the arrival of outfield prospect Andrew Lambo in St. Louis Tuesday, they have also announced the acquisition of former Major League catcher Kelly Shoppach, who has been assigned to Triple-A Indianapolis.
The 33-year-old backstop began the 2013 season with Seattle and hit .196 with seven doubles, three home runs, and nine RBI in 35 games chiefly as a starter. He also threw out eight of the 25 runners attempting to steal against him.
Shoppach was designated for assignment June 14 and released by the Mariners one week later.
The Washington Nationals signed him to a minor-league contract July 3, and Shoppach hit just .219 with five walks and two RBI in ten games with Triple-A Syracuse before he was cut July 31, though he did hit a robust .417 against lefties in that span.
Shoppach is a lifetime .224 Major League hitter with a .312 career on-base and .413 career slugging percentage after nine years with the Red Sox, Indians, Rays, Mets, and Mariners. Defensively, he has a 30% all-time caught-stealing rate in the big leagues.
He also has a little bit of playoff experience. Shoppach is a career .280 postseason hitter in four series, most recently homering twice and driving in six runs for Tampa Bay in a losing effort against the Texas Rangers in the 2011 American League Division Series.
He’ll help fill the void left by former first-round amateur draftee Tony Sanchez, who was recalled by the Bucs from Indianapolis to back up Russell Martin July 28.
Since replacing Michael McKenry, who is out for the season after undergoing meniscus surgery, Sanchez has hit .185 with two doubles, one RBI, one run scored, one walk, and five strikeouts in eight games as a Pirate.
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