Red Sox sign Kelly Shoppach to replace Jason Varitek as backup catcher

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Kelly Shoppach was the Red Sox’s second-round pick in 2001 and debuted for them in 2005, but was traded to the Indians in the Coco Crisp swap that offseason and went on to establish himself as a solid backup catcher who crushes left-handed pitching.

Now he returns to Boston to fill that exact role, with Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reporting that Shoppach has agreed to a one-year, $1.35 million deal with the Red Sox.

When pressed into extended duty Shoppach has struggled to hit above .200, but if limited to a platoon role versus left-handed pitching he’s capable of being very effective. Shoppach has been useless against righties during the past three seasons, hitting just .156, but he’s hit .262 with a .372 on-base percentage and .488 slugging percentage off lefties.

Starting catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia is a switch-hitter, but he’s been much better against righties (.265 AVG, .772 OPS) than lefties (.207 AVG, .604 OPS) during his career. Pairing him with Shoppach is a good fit and the price is certainly right.

Report: Marcell Ozuna injured, his wife arrested in domestic violence incident

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Andy Slater of Fox Sports 640 South Florida reports that Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna recently suffered a facial injury after his wife allegedly hit him with a soap dish. The incident apparently happened a few weeks ago.

Slater says that Ozuna reported the incident to Miami police and that Ozuna’s wife, Genesis, was arrested and charged with domestic battery. She subsequently pleaded not guilty and was given a stay-away order. Presumably more legal proceedings are in the offing.

The injury itself doesn’t sound serious, but the matter certainly is.