Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6’ 0”, Weight: 220
Why he was brought here: Josh Thole has proven recently that he is not the long-term answer for the Mets at the catcher position. He has proven that he cannot hit lefties. Sandy Alderson needed to bring in someone who can platoon with Thole.
What he will be used for: Terry Collins told reporters yesterday that Shoppach will be used mostly against left-handers. Thole has hit .188 in his career against lefties, including .219 this season. Shoppach, on the other hand, has a .270/.364/.530 batting line against lefties in 492 career at-bats. The Mets as a team have failed to hit lefties and need someone in their lineup that can help them in that regard.
Strengths: As I just mentioned, his ability to hit left-handers is a huge asset, especially on this team. Shoppach’s best quality, however, may be his power. In 2008, when he played in a career-high 112 games, Shoppach hit 21 home runs and 27 doubles in 352 at-bats. That isn’t too impressive, but when you consider that he’s a catcher, as well as who he is replacing, it certainly is an upgrade with the power.
Weaknesses: He isn’t the greatest defensive catcher. Although there aren’t any reliable fielding statistics, especially for a catcher, the stats say he is in the bottom tier of catchers defensively. Also, he has hit just .204 in his career against righties. I expect him to play only against lefties, so that won’t be a problem.
|162 Game Avg.||162||523||455||61||103||26||1||20||63||44||176||.227||.316||.422||.738||98|
|CLE (4 yrs)||301||1027||894||133||219||60||0||43||141||88||332||.245||.331||.456||.788||107|
|TBR (2 yrs)||150||440||379||40||70||11||0||16||39||39||150||.185||.285||.340||.625||76|
|BOS (2 yrs)||57||174||155||17||35||12||2||5||17||11||69||.226||.302||.426||.728||91|
Overall, this is a good move by the Mets. Sure, it’s a little late. They really needed Shoppach’s help earlier in the season but was Shoppach going to stop the collapse? Of course not.
What’s important now, is the Mets now have a leg up on other teams in signing him this offseason. If they insist on keeping Josh Thole on the roster, they need someone to compliment him and Shoppach is that guy. He hits lefties and he is experienced (FWIW). On top of that, the power-starved Mets lineup needs a boost. This isn’t going to solve the home run problem, but it’s a step in the right direction.
On top of all this, the Mets didn’t give up much: Just a player to be named later. This deal will likely be a minor league roster filler in exchange for exclusive negotiating rights with a solid catcher. Not a bad deal if you ask me.