While the Dodgers are dominated by stars up and down the lineup, catchers A.J. Ellis and Tim Federowicz are arguably the best defensive tandem in all of baseball.
Ellis is in his second season as the Dodgers full-time catcher and after designating Ramon Hernandez for assignment earlier in the year, Federowicz has assumed the role of backup catcher.
Talking to Mark Saxson of ESPNLA.com, manager Don Mattingly talked about the friendly competition between the two:
That’s one thing we’ve been talking about, that his job partially is to bring Fed up, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. Really, we’re asking him, Train Fed to take your job and then fight him off.
While Federowicz doesn’t have the best offensive numbers, he’s slowly become the personal catcher for both Chris Capuano and Ricky Nolasco. Meanwhile, Ellis is hitting .162 in his last 24 games and while he’s moved up and down the lineup based on match-ups, he leads the majors with a catcher’s ERA of 3.10.
Federowicz isn’t far behind as he has a CERA of 3.49 and has developed into a hockey goalie behind the plate as he’s blocked several balls in the dirt. He also sports a solid .987 fielding percentage, while Ellis’ percentage is .996 as they’ve turned into a one of the best defensive catcher pairings in baseball.
As the Dodgers continue to stretch their lead in the NL West, Mattingly can confidently give Ellis days off in an effort to keep him fresh for the end of September and into the playoffs.
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