Kelly Shoppach is producing on both sides of the ball

In yesterday’s 5-4 loss to the Cardinals, Kelly Shoppach hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning – he went 1-for-4 with a strikeout on the day.

Shoppach also drove in two runs in the Mets ninth inning rally of Saturday night’s win over the Marlins.

Since joining the Mets last month, Shoppach has hit .303 with three home runs and nine RBI in 38 at-bats.

So far this season, Josh Thole, Mike Nickeas, and Rob Johnson have combined to hit .222 with two home runs and 36 RBI in 436 at-bats.

Michael Baron, Contributor

Shoppach has been great (albeit in a short sample) since joining the Mets. He has come up with some big hits and has provided some much needed power from behind the plate. It’s not to say Shoppach is the best catcher in baseball, but it just goes to show it doesn’t take much to find improvements from outside the organization, especially with the gaping hole at the catcher position on this team.

During yesterday’s broadcast, Gary Cohen said Shoppach has worked to change the approach of the pitching staff, especially that of the bullpen. He said he has worked with them to come inside more – the results down there have been a lot better since that approach has been adjusted. Over their past nine games, the bullpen has allowed just two runs – a span of 26 1/3 innings – and the Mets are 7-2 over that stretch.

Shoppach has had the knack for the big hit in the last year, and he is clearly providing some much needed value with his game calling and chemistry with the pitching staff. But I don’t envision Shoppach being an everyday catcher for the Mets, assuming they re-sign him for next season. They still need to add catching depth and create a platoon at a minimum at the position. But he has been a nice find for this team and I wouldn’t expect is salary demands to be cost prohibitive this winter if the Mets are interested in bringing him back as part of the solution in 2013.


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