A.J. Ellis played just seven games this season before needing surgery to repair his meniscus, which resulted in the catcher missing the next 34 games. Ellis returned from the disabled list May 14, appeared in eight games and now returns to the DL.
Ellis was out of Sunday’s lineup, which appeared to be nothing more than a day to rest. Reportedly injured during the Los Angeles Dodgers’ celebration of Josh Beckett’s no-hitter, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced Ellis was placed on the DL with an ankle sprain:
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 26, 2014
The 33-year-old is batting a lowly .170 this season, but does carry a .350 on-base percentage. However, Ellis’ value is seen in his command of the pitching staff, evident by his urging of Josh Beckett to use his breaking ball more often in order to have more success.
When Ellis missed time earlier in the season, the Los Angeles Dodgers turned to Drew Butera and Tim Federowicz to shoulder the load. Federowicz got the bulk of the opportunities and after consistently struggling, he was optioned back to Triple-A in favor of veteran Miguel Olivo.
Olivo made an early impact, particularly with the bat, but then cooled off and was sent to the minors upon Ellis’ return. Olivo may have received a second call up had he not been involved in an altercation with Alex Guerrero that resulted in the catcher being released from the organization.
Federowicz is hitting .109 in the Majors this season with 11 strikeouts in 50 plate appearances. He’s fared better in the Minors, batting .298 with 12 strikeouts in 61 at-bats. Given that Butera has proven to be marginally more successful than Federowicz this season, it’s plausible the roles will be reversed for Ellis’ current DL stint.
Ellis is expected to meet with Dr. Neal ElAttrache to establish a timetable for the catcher’s recovery.
Photos Of Dodgers Celebrating Josh Beckett’s No-Hitter