The Dodgers made two minor trades Thursday morning, none involving Matt Kemp.
They sent Matt Long to the Angels to complete the trade for catcher Drew Butera. Then they traded Long and pitcher Jarrett Martin for minor-league catcher Shawn Zarraga. None of the players involved are on the 40-man roster.
Zarraga, who turns 26 in January, was born in Aruba. He reached Triple-A in 2014, his seventh pro season, and batted .213/.304/.255 in 17 games. Zarraga has spent his entire career in the Milwaukee organization and batted .283/.376/.371.
Defensively, Zarraga was charged with two passed balls in 67 games last season and threw out 16 of 47 attempted base-stealers.
Zarraga was a 44th-round draft pick by the Brewers in the 2007 draft.
Ellis might give the Dodgers’ lineup a dimension it missed in his absence.
“Over the course of last year, the last couple years, even when his average may not be jumping out at you, he’s always a guy that gives you a tough at-bat every day,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “He makes a pitcher work. I think we’ll look forward to that. It just gets another ‘quality out’ when you make an out.”
Ellis’ 4.37 pitches per plate appearances in 2013 were the most by any major-league player with at least 400 plate appearances.
A.J. Ellis (second from right) said he sprained his right ankle immediately after this photo was taken, when he landed on Drew Butera’s catcher’s mask on the turf in Philadelphia. (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
A.J. Ellis spoke in somber tones Monday as he described one of baseball’s all-time freak injuries. An old adage was certainly at play: It’s only funny if it doesn’t happen to you.
Ellis sprained his ankle Sunday while the Dodgers ran out to congratulate Josh Beckett for his no-hitter at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. Ellis didn’t catch the game — Drew Butera did — but Ellis leaped and landed on Butera’s discarded catcher’s mask in the midst of the celebration.
“I knew right away it was more significant than other ankle rolls I’ve had in the past,” Ellis said. “I immediately came in, saw (Dodgers head athletic trainer) Stan Conte, got an x-ray which came back negative, treated it the entire flight home yesterday, and came in this morning.
“I woke up and called Stan this morning I didn’t think I would be able to play the next few days just because of the way I felt. Probably best for the club to get another catcher up here. So I’m beyond frustrated, still kind of shocked and just ready to get back in the rhythm of things, whenever that might be.”