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For the past few seasons, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has been able to pencil in the same name at catcher for the majority of the games, A.J. Ellis.

While Mattingly could still start Ellis in 2015, there may be another name taking the lion’s share of the work. The Dodgers acquired Yasmani Grandal from the San Diego Padres in the Matt Kemp trade, and it appears he will become the starter. Ellis struggled mightily last season, hitting just .191 and missing time due to injuries. Grandal is younger and has more power at the plate.

According to Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Mattingly hasn’t named a starter or much of a clue on what he will do:

Considering Grandal was the major piece of the Kemp trade, it figures he will be the starter with Ellis backing up. After Clayton Kershaw advocated for the re-signing of Ellis, it would make sense for Ellis to become a personal catcher for the reigning MVP. Andrew Friedman and Farhan Zaidi have both ran teams that used platoons at catcher, and created the same situation in Los Angeles. It’s a smart idea for keeping players fresh and riding the hot hand.

Despite the fact that he may lose playing time, Ellis is a team player and did not seem deterred:

Ellis recently avoided arbitration and signed a one-year deal, receiving a pay raise in the process. He’s been around for the playoff defeats and is buying into the 2015 season, willing to give up playing time if it’s better for the team.

While Mattingly didn’t admit it, Grandal is the catcher of the present and future, and he will be seeing a lot of playing time.

About The Author

Vince is currently the Associate Editor and Social Media Manager for Dodgers Nation. Hailing from San Pedro, CA and a student at Cal State Long Beach, Vince has previously written for the Daily 49er and LASF Magazine.

2 Responses

  1. Sam Meza

    I love our home-grown guys but it’s time for some fresh blood back there….even if there was some PEDs in it. Grandal starting, AJ backing up/Kershaw’s caddie, looks good to me.

    Reply
  2. Jackson Ebner

    Looking forward to checking out Grandal, and seeing what he can do. It’s been a while since either L.A. teams had a quality catcher who could hit.

    Reply

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