There’s a reason why so many ’08 Phillies have made their way to Los Angeles. Carlos Ruiz, like Chase Utley, is somebody who has proven himself as a playoff champion at Dodger Stadium. The same goes for current Dodger reliever Joe Blanton and former Dodgers Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. Those Phillies teams of last decade beat the Dodgers for back-to-back pennants in 2008 and 2009.

There’s another reason why a number of ’08 Phillies are on this roster. They can still play ball. The Dodgers spent all of Thursday mourning the loss of AJ Ellis, both on and off the field. But in the end, the team got stronger by adding ‘Chooch’.

A.J. Ellis on What it’s Like Catching Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke

From a statistical perspective, the trade makes even more sense. Ruiz is better than Ellis this season in AVG, HR, BB, OBP, SLG, and OPS. Ruiz’s statistical dominance over Ellis is observed against both left handed and right handed pitching.

Thursday’s trade also addresses a hole in the depth chart. Austin Barnes injured his hand, and the Dodgers were one Yasmani Grandal injury away from having to rely on Ellis, who is currently slashing .194/.285/.252.

Social media erupted after the trade. Some said trading Ellis hurts team chemistry. The Dodgers definitely lost a respected player and Clayton Kershaw’s best friend. However, Kershaw’s performance has not suffered when pitching to Grandal. Kershaw’s ERA is 1.98 throwing to Grandal over his career. His career total ERA is 2.39.

Furthermore, from a clubhouse perspective, the Dodgers gained what they lost in AJ Ellis’s character. Roy Halladay told Phillies Insider:

Chooch was the little engine that could for a team loaded with big names, but no player was more valuable to the team as a whole than Carlos! He was so humble and grateful, you couldn’t help but just want to do anything for him including win! He flawlessly handled one of the greatest pitching staffs ever assembled and was just as important offensively, as well. It was nothing short of miraculous that he could handle so many different personalities and approaches on a day-to-day basis the way that he did. He was the best catcher I’ve ever thrown to and, in my opinion, the best catcher in baseball in the years I was with him.

Andrew Friedman was also high on Ruiz’s character. He told SportsNetLA:

“I can go on and on about AJ and his attributes and what he brings to a team, and if Carlos didn’t possess similar things, we wouldn’t have made the move”.

Houston Mitchell at the LA Times puts it best:

“Trading a seldom-used backup catcher shouldn’t break a team, and if it does, then that team probably wasn’t going to win a World Series anyway.”

So Dodger fans, let’s put some faith into the Friedman brain trust, take a deep breath, and relax. 

Get To Know Carlos Ruiz

About The Author

Sunha writes for Dodgers Nation and Boxing Insider. A graduate of The Ohio State University and Harvard, his writing has appeared in Yahoo!, the business news site Quartz, Dodgers Blue Heaven, and Sons of Steve Garvey. A Dodger fan growing up, his favorite player was pinch hitting guru Dave Hansen. Follow him @SunhaPKim. E-mail him at [email protected]

One Response

  1. Tmaxster

    Put some faith in the Friedman Brain Trust? Really?? What moves have they made that were GREAT MOVES? Getting Liberatore, Segedin, Toles, Culberson, Fein were all solid baseball moves. They excel in Dumpster Diving it is what they learned in Oakland and Tampa. 
    But McCarthy, Hatcher, Kazmir, Riddick. Latos, Avilan, Wood!!!  Brain Trust really? The Norris deal is still too early. 

    The only good controversial deal I can think of is Grandal for Kemp. And I am still not a huge Grandal fan..

    AJ Ellis is the guy that worked with the pitchers and developed the game plan with the team and Honeycutt. Urias after his outing 2 starts ago destroyed a team with his slider. He mentioned that he had worked extensively with AJ on it and got him to throw it better and to trust it. AJ knows a bit about the slider as that pitch made Kershaw go from very very good to incredible. 
    You do not cut the heart out of a team for such a short term gain. It is in my opinion dangerous. 
    But Brain Trust Really this Front Office grades out at about a C if you are generous. They get no credit for the line up in this team as it is all Colletti except for Utley and Kendrick….

    They do get credit for the ROTATION how is that going for us?? JEEZ

    Reply

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