Quick Hits: Platoons, Taveras, Billingsley, Coffey, Shoppach, Berroa

Baseball America's Matt Eddy's latest piece is a fascinating look back at the history of platoon usage in Major League Baseball and the increasing role of specialized relievers in Major League bullpens. Last season, more pure left-handed relievers (i.e. lefties who made zero starts) appeared in a season than any year in Major League history. Eddy's piece is rife with tables and charts to provide the breakdown on the numbers behind left-on-left matchups as opposed to right-on-right matchups (not surprisingly, the former leans more heavily in the pitcher's favor) and is well worth the read. Here are some more links from around the league for some late-night Thursday reading…

  • The Cardinals optioned top prospect Oscar Taveras to Triple-A today, putting an early end to a Spring Training that didn't allow him to fully showcase his talents, writes MLB.com's Jen Langosch. Taveras received just six plate appearances in a pair of games after sitting out the first week due to what Langosch calls "hesitancy to fully trust his surgically repaired right ankle." He also left his second and final Spring Training game with a minor hamstring injury.
  • Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley is well ahead of schedule in his rehab from Tommy John surgery and could be ready to pitch in the Majors as soon as late April, reports ESPNLosAngeles.com's Mark Saxon. Billingsley will face live hitters next week and begin a minor league rehab assignment on April 3. Billingsley's return further crowds the competition for the team's fifth starter. Josh Beckett or Paul Maholm figures to occupy that role to open the season.
  • Right-hander Todd Coffey has drawn interest from as many as nine to 10 teams and expects to sign right around Opening Day, according to MLB Daily Dish's Chris Cotillo (Twitter links). Coffey is currently throwing 91 to 92 mph in bullpen sessions, he adds. Coffey last pitched in the Majors for the Dodgers in 2012.
  • Cotillo also tweets that free agent catcher Kelly Shoppach is looking to play in 2014 "if the right situation/opportunity presents itself." The 33-year-old isn't close to a deal at this time. He slashed just .199/.288/.339 in 127 PAs between the Mariners and Indians last season.
  • Lastly, Cotillo tweets that former AL Rookie of the Year Angel Berroa, now 34, is seeking a minor league deal to return to affiliated baseball. Berroa spent 2012 playing independent ball and was in the Mexican League last season, where he slashed .293/.362/.462 in 460 trips to the plate.

14 Responses to Quick Hits: Platoons, Taveras, Billingsley, Coffey, Shoppach, Berroa Leave a Reply

  1. Jeffy25 1 year ago

    Taveras, please don’t become a bust

    • KJ4realz 1 year ago

      If any team can afford it, it’s the Cardinals. But, yeah, hate to see him bust.

      • Jeffy25 1 year ago

        Doesn’t sound like there are any concerns from the organization though

    • Triteon 1 year ago

      Too early for that…he’s still only 21.

  2. brock4broglio 1 year ago

    Wrong Taveras link.. try link to baseball-reference.com

  3. johnsilver 1 year ago

    Hard to figure some team couldn’t use the superb defensive Shoppach as a backup catcher. He has to be worth at least a million to some team for his arm and glove, then has good power, just the rest of his bat is suspect. Figure a 4y younger version of David Ross.

    Could it be his part on the Bobby Valentine led Red Sox? Good question. There were rumors he and Gonzalez were the 2 most vocal on that team in a negative way.

    • start_wearing_purple 1 year ago

      Shoppach’s problem is he’s on the wrong side of 32 and his bat and OBP numbers are atrocious. Ross shares many of the same qualities as Shoppach except his bat has been normally above average for back up and tends to get more glowing public praises from his pitching staffs. Shoppach is good on defense but I’d be shocked if he got more than a AAA role as 2nd call up in case of injury.

      It has nothing to do his time on the Valentine Sox. The rumors were even the leadership were quietly speaking out against Valentine.

      • Daniel Morairity 1 year ago

        Shoppach is an interesting guy to talk about and i think that he needs to go to miami

  4. meep 1 year ago

    I would love to see bills back but let’s not rush him now.

  5. bigmike04 1 year ago

    Kelly shoppach doesnt want to play for any team that requires him to mentor a catcher, said so last season..

    • johnsilver 1 year ago

      That’s the way ball players looked at young kids back in the 1950’s and prior.. Baseball was job security and you didn’t help the guy out who was looking to take over your job…

      It also didn’t help much that ball players were mostly only getting a couple thousand a month (tops) unless they were some super star.

      I believe you on Shoppach. Heard he wasn’t one of the more friendly players in Boston, along as some of the above that SWP posted.. He must be some kind of grumpy person.

  6. arbfuldodger 1 year ago

    If and when Bills is ready the 4th spot will be his, Haren slots in at 5 and I would think Beckett gets phantom D/Led and Maholm gets DFAed

    • BlueSkyLA 1 year ago

      Could be, but it will depend on how much confidence they have in his repaired elbow and arm strength. I wouldn’t be surprised if they left him in the five slot to allow him to skip some starts. I’d be surprised if they designated Maholm. With his contract, he’d be a low-risk claim.

  7. Bob Bunker 1 year ago

    I really want Oscar Taveras to work out because the Cardinals are the best run team in baseball and it is good for baseball when they continue to succeed with a middle of the pack payroll and encourage teams to copy their approach which leads to better balance overall.

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