Shoppach carving niche in Mets' clubhouse

Shoppach carving niche in Mets' clubhouse

Shoppach carving niche in Mets' clubhouse
NEW YORK -- Since Kelly Shoppach joined the Mets on Aug. 14, manager Terry Collins said the catcher has been a great fit in the Mets clubhouse.

"He blended in really easily," Collins said. "When you come in as late as he did, it's kind of tough to establish relationships. But he's got a great personality."

Shoppach has started just 16 games behind the plate this season for the Mets, but Collins said the experience he brings has helped New York's young staff.

"He's done a really good job with some of our younger pitchers, which helps," Collins said. "When he's in the clubhouse, he's not just hanging with the veteran guys. Because he's got to catch those young guys ... he's got to know them."

When Shoppach came over from the Red Sox, there were reports that he played a role in the players' discontent with manager Bobby Valentine. But Collins said once he arrived in New York, he's brought nothing but a good attitude.

"He comes out and he's got his wrists all taped up, and Ronny Cedeno has a bad hamstring, so he comes out with his hands taped up and his eye black on and says 'Hey, if you need a shortstop, I'm ready to play if you need a backup,' Collins said. "He keeps things light, so it's been a good find for us."