On the meaning of ‘ploach,’ and what A.J. Ellis and Robin Ventura have in common.

A.J. Ellis

Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis has taken on a mentorship role with rookie Austin Barnes. (Hans Gutknecht/Staff photographer)

SAN DIEGO — Austin Barnes is catching today, A.J. Ellis is catching tomorrow, and that’s a sentence I should probably copy and paste for future use this week.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he likes the every-other-day rotation between his two catchers. Barnes is 26 and just made his first Opening Day Roster. Ellis is 34 and has experience in parts of nine major league seasons.

“I love the way that (Ellis) can mentor Austin,” Roberts said. “Those two guys, it’s a nice combination.”

In Ellis, Roberts said, “I see a mentor, I see a big brother a great teammate. A.J. is in it for the right reasons. He’s a mid- to low-round pick who’s had to establish himself to carve out a nice career. He’s here for the right reasons. He’s here to win baseball games. Whatever it takes.”

Maybe the best thing Roberts did in his pregame media scrum Tuesday was introduce a word into the baseball lexicon: Ploach.
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Game 1: Dodgers make Dave Roberts a convincing winner in his debut.

Opening Day

The Dodgers shut out the San Diego Padres 15-0 at Petco Park on Monday. (Scott Varley/Staff photographer)

Dave Roberts‘ energy apparently spoke louder than his words in the Dodgers’ season-opening 15-0 win over the Padres on Monday. The box score is here. The photo gallery is here.

Chase Utley took a rare turn in the leadoff spot and went 3-for-5, including a double off Tyson Ross to begin the game.

Two quotes that didn’t make either story are worth mentioning here:
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Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal might start the season on the disabled list.

Yasmani Grandal was set to join the Dodgers in Anaheim for the finale of the Freeway Series. Friday night, manager Dave Roberts said the plan had changed.

Grandal will stay in Arizona and play in a minor league game Saturday, “six or seven innings,” Roberts said.

“He was OK coming out of (his minor league game) today,” Roberts said of Grandal. “Not great.

“We have to make the decision whether he starts the season active or on the disabled list. … The window is closing.”

Opening Day rosters must be submitted to MLB by 9 a.m. Sunday.

If Grandal does begin the season on the disabled list, Austin Barnes figures to make the Opening Day roster along with A.J. Ellis.

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‘Odds are decreasing’ that Yasmani Grandal will be healthy by Opening Day.

Yasmani Grandal

Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, right, hasn’t played since Monday. (Getty Images)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Maybe the most nerve-wracking thing about Yasmani Grandal’s strained right forearm is that it doesn’t hurt when he’s at rest. So the Dodgers catcher has stood at his locker and dutifully answered questions about the pain and says simply, honestly, that he isn’t in pain.

But then he’ll get back to work and the pain will return, and that’s why he hasn’t appeared in a game since Monday. He won’t be back next Monday, either.
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Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal leaves game after two innings. Update.

Yasmani Grandal

Yasmani Grandal, right, caught two innings of Kenta Maeda’s latest start before he was removed because of an injury to his forearms. (Getty Images)

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Catcher Yasmani Grandal was removed from the Dodgers’ Cactus league game against the Seattle Mariners on Monday after two innings and one at-bat. No reason was immediately given.

As he left the Dodgers’ clubhouse, Grandal insisted that he was healthy but had to leave for a doctor’s appointment.

Austin Barnes took over as the Dodgers’ catcher in the third inning.

Update (4:10 p.m.): Dave Roberts clarified that Grandal was removed as a precaution, after the manager noticed a grimace on Grandal’s face when he struck out in the second inning.

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