It took him a couple months to settle into the routine, but A.J. Ellis thrived as the backup catcher to Yasmani Grandal in 2015. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)
This is Part 12 of a series in which every member of the 2015 Dodgers has his season juxtaposed with an episode of the greatest sitcom of all-time. Don’t take it too seriously.
Key stats: .238 batting average, .355 on-base percentage, .403 slugging percentage in 63 games; 45 percent caught stealing rate (1st in MLB) and below average framing.
Seinfeld episode: “The Pool Guy” (season 7, episode 8).
Key quote: “Hello and welcome to Moviefone. If you know the name of the movie you’d like to see, press one.”
Yasmani Grandal has caught all but six of Zack Greinke’s 33 starts this season, including Game 2 of the National League Division Series. (Associated Press photo)
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Wednesday
that both A.J. Ellis
and Yasmani Grandal
, who has a sore left shoulder, would prepare to catch Game 5 today.
Grandal is in the starting lineup. Did Ellis do anything extra today compared to a typical day he isn’t starting?
“I came in yesterday knowing what was going on with Yas and how he was feeling and made sure I went over to Zack and watched his game, Game 2 against these guys and how he matched up against the Mets throughout the season,” Ellis said.
“But talking to Yas last night and talking to Yas today, he looks great. He feels great, and I’m excited to watch him go out there and compete with Zack (Greinke). They have a great chemistry together. It’s no secret how well they’ve worked, and it’s all about Zack being comfortable. I think Yas has got some big swings in him tonight too.”
Grandal has caught all but six of Greinke’s starts this season. He has one hit and four striekouts in eight at-bats this series. Ellis has been swinging the hotter bat. He has one hit in each of his two starts this series, extending his postseason hitting streak to 12 games.
We enjoy ribbing Dodgers manager Don Mattingly here for concealing even the most commonplace details of his game-to-game bullpen strategy. (Is Bronson Arroyo available tonight? Who knows?) This time, we get it.
Mattingly wouldn’t say whether or not Clayton Kershaw would be available out of the bullpen for Game 5 of the National League Division Series, two days after Kershaw pitched the Dodgers to a season-extending victory in Game 4.
“He’s here,” Mattingly said of Kershaw. “I’m not sure what we’ll do with him.”
SAN DIEGO — Yasmani Grandal would likely not be starting Sunday against the San Diego Padres regardless of his batting line. It’s a day game after a night game, A.J. Ellis hasn’t played in the series, and Brett Anderson (who hasn’t lost a game that Ellis has caught this season) is pitching.
As it stands, Grandal is hitless in his last 33 at-bats, including an 0-for-3 game Saturday in which he was hit by a pitch on his foot. Here’s what Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has noticed from Grandal during his slump:
Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal has struggled at the plate since he was struck by a foul ball in his left shoulder. (Associated Press photo)
CINCINNATI — The scary part about Yasmani Grandal
‘s left shoulder injury is twofold.
For one thing, it isn’t going away. The first time he missed a game back on Aug. 13, Grandal characterized the problem as a mere bruise. He only missed the one game and was back on the field the next day. But clearly, Grandal still wasn’t right at the plate. He collected one hit, a single, in his next 16 plate appearances, driving his slugging percentage to .471, the lowest it’s been since June.
The other problem, the really scary one, is that it isn’t just a shoulder injury anymore.
“It went down to the ribs, the back of my neck,” he said. “It started at the traps, went to the neck, back, left rib, right rib. The past couple days it’s gotten better.”