A.J. Ellis has needed two clean-up procedures on the meniscus in his left knee in the last 19 months. That’s why a reporter, tongue in cheek, told the Dodgers catcher Wednesday to make sure his surgeon gets it right next time.
“He got it right the first time,” Ellis said. “He got it right the second time.”
Ellis was back in the Dodgers’ dugout for the first time since undergoing the arthroscopic procedure Monday. He said he began putting weight on his left leg Tuesday and was able to leave his crutches at home when he left for the ballpark. His progress has been quick and noticeable. As for that four-to-six week rehab timetable the team offered Monday, Ellis wasn’t willing to make any predictions — but he’s clearly trying to speed things up.
The catcher, who turns 33 today, hopes the second procedure is his last. He was typically quick to accept responsibility for needing the same surgery twice.
“When I catch, I tend to put more of my weight on my left side,” Ellis said. “I’m carrying the heavier frame than most other catchers. All that pressure on my left side, it’s going to put a lot of stress in that area. It’s maybe something I need to reconsider — the way I catch, my stance — maybe even it out more 50-50. The way I like to catch, the way I’ve caught my whole life, is to have that weight loaded over there.”
Ellis added, “I’m not surprised it happened again.”
It surprised a few people, especially after Ellis reported to spring training having lost 15 pounds off his 2013 playing weight.
“That was part of the reason for trying to get lighter, was trying to alleviate some of that pain that I was experiencing,” he said.
Staying on the field might mean more than maintain his optimal weight, which he says is in the 218-223 pound range. Ellis knows it won’t be easy to change his catching style.
“You have to just focus on it, and when you’re doing your work, kind of just really mentally be locked in to doing that,” Ellis said. “When I start getting into catching a little bit, we’ll think about making some changes and shifting the weight a little more 50-50.”
Last but not least: Ellis said his family rents a house from a DirecTV subscriber. How did he watch the game last night, which was broadcast locally on SportsNet LA, a channel available only to Time Warner subscribers? Listen to Ellis’ response here.