Kelly Shoppach? Really?

Are the Rays a Moneyball team? Oh, I don't know. They're not not a Moneyball team. I would say without reservation, though, that Kelly Shoppach at one point in his career was the type of player who was glamorized in the book. He was never an on-base freak, but his power and offense for the position supposedly made up for his less-than-stellar defense. After his breakout year in 2008, he had a down year in 2009.

The Rays traded for him when his value was low. That's very Rays. Very Moneyball. And then Shoppach got worse in 2010.

Then he got even worse in 2011, hitting.176/.268/.339. That's like Jeff Mathis chewing a human adrenaline gland.

But for whatever reason, Joe Maddon put Shoppach in the lineup to start Game One of the NLDS. And CJ Wilson threw a pretty good pitch:

 


 ... and Shoppach hit it out to dead center field for a three-run home run. The odds are now up to 2.6% that he's this year's Cody Ross.

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