Monday, August 12, 2013

Player News...Andrew Lambo, Kelly Shoppach, Pitchers

-- OF Andrew Lambo, 25, will be added to the active roster tomorrow. Lambo, a LH batter, hit .284 with 24 doubles, five triples, 31 home runs, 97 RBI and a .351 OBP in 117 games between Altoona and Indianapolis this season. His 31 bombs were tied for the most in minor league baseball, he's second in total bases with 251and tied for third in both RBI (97) and extra base hits (60).

The Pirates will add Lambo to the active and 40-man rosters when he arrives in St. Louis with the team. The most likely moves are either that Alex Presley returns to Indy or Starling Marte will go on the DL. He suffered a swollen left hand when he was drulled with a pitch Saturday, and the Bucs have been kinda coy regarding his condition. The 40-man roster does have an open spot and both Wandy and The Fort are on the 15 day DL rather than 60 day, so the club is OK there.

He's the best internal option the Bucs have to provide a little punch in the RF rotation. His splits aren't terrible, but he does have a 26% K rate this year, so his swing-and-miss rate will be something to watch for. Lambo can also fill in at first base, having played 19 games there this season, although mostly for the Curve. 

Lambo was a fourth round high school draft pick of LA in 2007 and joined the Pirates along with James McDonald in exchange for Octavio Dotel at the 2010 trade deadline. He's been plagued by injuries (hamate surgery last year) and early maturity issues, and this is his first true breakout campaign.

-- The Bucs also signed C Kelly Shoppach, 33, to a minor league deal and assigned him to Indy. Shoppach played with the Red Sox (2005, 2012), Indians (2006-09), Rays (2010-11), Mets (2012) and Mariners (2013). In 571 career games, he's hit .224 with 70 home runs and 216 RBI. Kelly is a career .261 hitter against left-handed pitching, a pretty solid defensive guy, and he plugs the hole left when Mike McKenry went down.

Shoppach has been associated for years with the Bucs during NH-era hot stove league sessions, and was likely guaranteed a September call-up. It's been noted that his choices were St. Louis, with Yadier Molina down, and the Pirates, so maybe that prior contact helped.

-- Gerrit Cole will miss a start with the off day and won't work the Card series as the Bucs look to limit his innings to avoid a potential Steven Strasburg situation and keep Cole alive for the post season. 

-- J-Mac is getting ready to toss a sim game, and is on schedule to return as a bullpen arm in September.

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