The Dodgers have been given the luxury of erring on the side of caution as they have an 11-game lead in the NL West and look to get healthy towards the end of the year, with an eye towards October baseball.
Manager Don Mattingly has started to rest certain players nursing nagging injuries, but with a three-game losing streak, there’s concern that they could be losing their edge.
Catcher A.J. Ellis has struggled of late and Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times shed some light on how hard it’s been recently:
His numbers are going the wrong way and his struggles started earlier than this month. Since Aug. 9 he’s hit .161 (10 for 59) with one homer and seven runs batted in.
With two hits yesterday, Ellis registered his first multi-hit game since August 11 and with Tim Federowicz emerging as the personal catcher for both Ricky Nolasco and Chris Capuano, Ellis has been resting more frequently.
While Ellis doesn’t possess much power, his ability to work counts, take pitches the other way and play solid defense is what’s made him one of the Dodgers most consistent players in the past.
Even during his offensive struggles, Ellis is able to contribute in other areas, but if the Dodgers are to make a deep postseason run they’ll need his bat at the back end of the lineup.
In case you missed it, be sure to find out more about Matt Kemp’s rehab