The 2014 campaign was A.J. Ellis’ seventh season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ellis started playing a bigger role with the team in the 2012, appearing in a career-high 133 games, hitting for 13 home runs and 52 RBIs.
While that’s good production from a No. 8 hitter, Ellis’ numbers have slowly declined since. Last season, Ellis hit 10 home runs with 52 RBIs and he followed it this season with just three home runs and 25 RBIs.
Part of the decline in production can be attributed to missed time due to injury. After coming off knee surgery in April, Ellis spent more time on the disabled list with a sprained right ankle he suffered in the celebration of Josh Beckett’s no-hitter against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 25.
After a year-long struggle at the plate, the 2014 postseason was certainly a high-point for Ellis. He ended the regular season with a .191 batting average, but was red-hot in the NLDS to the tune of a .538 batting average.
In four games against the St. Louis Cardinals, Ellis hit one home run, collected two RBIs and drew four walks. He also had an .846 slugging percentage.
In terms of the regular season, one highlight for Ellis came when he was behind the plate for Clayton Kershaw’s first-career no-hitter.
Ellis has done particularly well in the postseason hitting .333, .316, and .538 over the past three playoff runs. So his .191 average this season may not be indicative of the hitter he has the potential to be.
The Dodgers have the highest payroll in baseball, but Ellis’ expiring contract calls for a decision to be made; Kershaw said on two separate occasions he wants Ellis to return next season.
Ellis and the Dodgers avoided arbitration last season when they agreed to a one-year, $3.55 million contract and he’s arbitration eligible over the next two seasons.