Pirates logo

Pirates Agree to Terms With Kelly Shoppach

The Pittsburgh Pirates have agreed to terms with Kelly Shoppach on a minor league deal, and have assigned him to Indianapolis. 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 the .782-.865 OPS at the height of his career, or even his career .726 OPS.

The Pirates have needed catching depth with Michael McKenry out for the season. They will obviously keep Tony Sanchez as the backup, but Shoppach will be number three on the depth chart, and most likely will receive a September call-up. He has always been connected to the Pirates due to his days in Cleveland, and the rumors that the Pirates tried to acquire him as part of a Jason Bay trade in the 2007-08 off-season. He doesn’t have the offense he did back then, but he should be a good option as a third catcher for the rest of the season.

UPDATE 4:15 PM: Thoughts from James Santelli…

Other than some reps in September, you won’t have to worry about Kelly Shoppach unless Tony Sanchez or Russell Martin gets hurt. But given that catchers get banged up, the possibility was real enough that Pirates general manager Neal Huntington went bargain-hunting after Michael McKenry was lost for the season.

If Shoppach, 33, makes an appearance for Pittsburgh, it would represent his 6th Major League team since 2009. He does not offer too much offensively, hitting .200 with a bit of power since his career year of 21 home runs and 27 doubles in 2008 for the Cleveland Indians.

Defensively, there is a lot more to like. He throws out 35 percent of base stealers, one of the better marks in baseball, and he rates well as a pitch framer. He rates as a minus in blocking the plate, but is overall a positive asset behind the plate. If Shoppach needs to start a game or two, it would not be a Barajas-esque disaster for the Pirates.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

Pirates to Call Up Andrew Lambo

Next Story »

Pirates Officially Call up Andrew Lambo, Option Alex Presley

  • leadoff

    Terrific move, the Pirates have no backup if Sanchez of Martin go down.

  • http://wkkortas.wordpress.com wkkortas

    The Bucs have been shyly courting Shoppach for a lot of years, and now that love is finally requited. There are certainly worse emergency options.

Latest Analysis

  • Alen Hanson f

    Pirates Talk With David Todd: Hanson, Ramirez, Taillon, Kingham, Richard, Worley

    8 hours ago

    I was on 970 ESPN in Pittsburgh this afternoon for my weekly segment with David Todd. The podcast can be heard below. Here is a summary of ...

    Read More
  • Billy Roth is the top prospect in Bristol this year.

    Another Projectable Prep Pitcher Sees An Increase in His Velocity

    14 hours ago

    When discussing the best Pittsburgh Pirates draft under Neal Huntington, the 2011 group has to be at the top of the list. It features Gerrit Cole, Tyler ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero

    Breaking Down the Final Pirates Roster Battles After Today’s Cuts

    2 days ago

    With less than a week remaining in camp, the Pittsburgh Pirates made their latest round of cuts this morning, sending three relievers to minor league camp, including ...

    Read More
  • Keller Supak Hinsz

    Even With the New Draft Rules, the Pirates Are Still Loading Up on Projectable Pitchers

    3 days ago

    From 2008-2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of resources on projectable pitchers out of high school. So far, this approach has led to breakout performances from ...

    Read More
  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    5 days ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    6 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    7 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    1 week ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    1 week ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    2 weeks ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More