Friday, August 12, 2011

Ellis And Decision 2012

The Albuquerque Journal checked in with a feature on Dodgers minor league catcher AJ Ellis, and and where he might or might not fit in for the Dodgers:

Spring 2012 will be decision time, both for the Los Angeles Dodgers and for A.J. Ellis.

The 30-year-old Isotopes catcher has been in and out of the major leagues for the past three seasons, filling in whenever needed. It’s a role Ellis takes pride in, but also one that will end next season when the former 18th-round pick is out of minor league options.

In an ideal future, Ellis would become a fixture on the Dodgers’ roster.

“I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t think about it, but it’s something I can’t dwell on,” he said. “I’ve got a job to do here. My job is to help the Isotopes win games and to help pitchers get better and get them to the big leagues.”

Tim Federowicz started at catcher in the Isotopes’ 10-7 loss to Salt Lake on Wednesday, and Ellis entered the game at first base in the top of the fourth inning after an injury to Brad Coon shuffled the lineup.

Dodger catchers Rod Barajas and Dioner Navarro will both be eligible for free agency at the conclusion of this season, so Ellis figures to have a decent chance to break spring training on the big-league roster.

“I think he’s shown our major league staff that he’s capable of catching up there, preparing up there and leading a pitching staff up there,” said Dodgers director of player development De Jon Watson, who was in town for the Salt Lake series. “I think he’ll get a really good look and a great opportunity at making the club.”

Questions regarding catching depth in the organization resulted in the trade deadline acquisition of Federowicz from Boston on July 31. [...]

Watson seems satisfied with the overall talent behind the plate, pointing to Double-A prospects Gorman Erickson and Matt Wallach as well as the Albuquerque duo. Meanwhile, Damaso Espino is listed on the Albuquerque roster as a catcher, but started at third base Wednesday for the first time since 2004. [...]

Ellis knows that next season is his best shot to move up full time.

“I’ve just kind of been the guy who’s been the emergency guy, insurance-type guy. … My options are up, so it won’t be as easy to play in that role anymore. I think it’s time to be a major league player consistently.”

photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images North America


Fernie V said...

A.J. Ellis, he sucks but could probably be just as good as Navaro

Neeebs (The Original) said...

Free A.J. Ellis.