09/03/12 3:17 PM ET
Shoppach contributing more than just offense
By Steve Overbey / Special to MLB.com
Shoppach, acquired from the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named on Aug. 14, has not only provided some key hits, but he has also brought some veteran insight to the Mets' young hurlers.
The 32-year-old catcher was hitting .353 with two homers and five RBIs in nine games with the Mets entering Monday. Shoppach triggered a ninth-inning rally with a two-run single in a 5-3 win at Miami on Saturday. He also tied a season high with three hits on Aug. 28.
But according to manager Terry Collins, Shoppach's most important contribution comes in his ability to handle young pitchers. "I like the way he calls a game," Collins said. "He's done a good job."
Collins says Shoppach has a great track record with youthful hurlers from his days in Cleveland and Tampa Bay.
"Anybody who played in Tampa Bay, with all of those young pitchers coming up there, you've got to know how to work them, you have to know their strengths and weaknesses," he said. "He's continued that over here with our guys."
Shoppach threw out 15 of 41 attempted basestealers last year in Tampa Bay, the second-best total in the Majors.
Harvey to make two, maybe three more starts
ST. LOUIS -- Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is not to be confused with Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg.
At least not yet.
But the two right-handed pitchers have something in common. Both are on innings limits and both are nearing the end of their seasons.
Harvey, a rookie, starts for the Mets on Tuesday and will likely get one other start according to a plan put in place by general manager Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins.
The Mets' top Draft choice in 2010, Harvey has thrown 152 1/3 innings this season, including 110 innings at Triple-A Buffalo.
The New York brass, like the management in Washington, is taking a cautious approach to its prized pupil.
"You look at what's best for the player, which is what we will always do," Collins said. "Two more starts, possibly three depending on what he does in the next two starts. If he has a bad night, there might be a third one in there somewhere."
The 23-year-old Harvey is 3-3 with a 2.76 ERA in seven starts. He has allowed two earned runs or fewer in six of those starts.
Harvey has accepted the innings limit, although he says he feels no fatigue. Still, he realizes that he must do what is best for his future. Plus, he has the utmost trust in the New York front office.
"Those aren't my calls, whatever they decide is fine," Harvey said. "I'm going to prepare mentally and physically for the rest of the season. If they ever decide to bring me back, I'd like to be ready for it."
Harvey was a combined 13-5 last season at Class A and Double-A and had a 7-5 mark at Buffalo before being recalled. Collins, among others, is pleasantly surprised by Harvey's performances to date.
"I see much better stuff up here than the reports I got from the Minor Leagues," Collins said. "As he continues to pitch at the Major League level, he's going to get better. He's just driven like that."
Harvey, who went to the University of North Carolina, has struck out 49 batters and walked 17.
"If I can go out and command from the first pitch and keep going after the guy, then I'm doing my job," Harvey said.
Mets to add six callups before Tuesday's game
ST LOUIS -- The Mets will recall infielder Jordany Valdespin and right-handed pitchers Elvin Ramirez, Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia from Triple-A Buffalo prior to Tuesday's game against the Cardinals, while also selecting the contracts of outfielder Fred Lewis and left-hander Justin Hampson from Buffalo.
Catcher Rob Johnson and left-handed pitcher Tim Byrdak have been moved to the 60-day disabled list.
Left-handed reliever Robert Carson has not allowed a run in his last six outings covering 3 2/3 innings. He was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo on Aug. 21.
The Mets have held their opponents to one or no runs a league-leading 33 times this season. Oakland is second with 32.
Jason Bay's first-inning grand slam in Sunday's 5-1 win at Miami was the Mets' fourth slam this season. Scott Hairston (June 27 at Chicago), Ike Davis (June 18 against Baltimore) and Mike Nickeas (May 26 against San Diego) hit the others.
Steve Overbey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.