The Los Angeles Dodgers have been unable to maintain a completely healthy roster since their first games in the Australia Series, but it seems as if the team is slowly, yet surely working their way back to health. Although Juan Uribe and Hyun-Jin ryu have yet to return to the lineup, the organization welcomed Clayton Kershaw back last Monday and are excited for the return of A.J. Ellis today.
After being sent to the disabled list on April 8, the catcher eturns to the roster in time for the three-game series finale against the Miami Marlins. Miguel Olivo was optioned back to Albuquerque in order to clear a roster spot for Ellis, via the Los Angeles Dodgers Twitter account:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 14, 2014
The 33-year-old made a considerably quick recovery from his knee surgery that was just one month ago. Although Ellis struggled to resume running towards the end of this rehab, he was able to clear the final hurdle. Before his stint on the DL, the catcher only played in seven games while accumulating a .167 batting average in 24 at-bats.
With their starting catcher out, the Dodgers initially looked to Drew Butera and Tim Federowciz to handle the duties behind the plate. Although Federowicz had the most Major League experience between the two, his lack of offensive production coupled with a handful of defensive errors prompted the Dodgers to send him back to Triple-A and take their chances with Olivo.
Olivo, who has spent the past 12 years in and out of the big leagues, made an impression on the Dodgers in wake of Ellis’ absence. The backup catcher had five hits in his first 12 at-bats with the team before his production steadily decreased over the next two weeks. With Ellis returning and Uribe expected in the lineup Friday, the Dodgers will only be waiting on Hyun-Jin Ryu to come off the DL in order to get as healthy as they’ve been all season.
Dodgers Update: Clayton Kershaw’s Impressive Return, A.J. Ellis Improving