The Cleveland Indians are dipping into the nostalgia pool this week, adding former Tribe backstop Kelly Shoppach to a minor league contract.
Shoppach, 33, signed with the Mariners in the off-season and spent the first two and a half months of the season with Seattle where he hit .196 with seven doubles, three home runs and nine RBI in 35 games before being released on June 20. The Baylor University product later spent July in the Washington Nationals organization (Triple-A Syracuse) and August in the Pittsburgh Pirates system (Triple-A Indianapolis) before requesting his release on August 28.
The right-handed hitting catcher returns to the Indians organization where he spent four seasons from 2006-09 after being acquired from the Boston Red Sox in January of 2006. He owns a nine-year Major League batting average of .224 with 92 doubles, 70 home runs and 216 RBI in 571 games with five teams since debuting in 2005. He was originally selected in the 2001 draft (2nd round) by the Red Sox out of Baylor. He was dealt in 2009 for former back-of-the-rotation starter Mitch Talbot.
Shoppach has been assigned to Triple-A Columbus.