Dodger Dilemma: Has Time Caught Up With A.J. Ellis?

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Who Framed A.J. Ellis?

Pitch framing is all the rage these days, says the cool kids. Can you frame a pitch off the plate to look like a strike? Do you stab at balls and push them out of the zone? These are important questions that math can answer.

StatCorner.com has devised a very simple way of determining who the best framing catchers are. They simply look at the number of pitches outside of the zone called strikes, the number of pitches inside the zone called balls, math them up a little bit and show who’s best and who’s worst. Unfortunately, Ellis falls toward the bottom of the list, ranking sixth to last. The club’s best framing catcher is Drew Butera, who has produced 2.6 runs above average.

Outside Sources

So, how do you solve a problem like A.J. Ellis? I’d love to say the Dodgers have in-house solutions, but the list of MLB-ready catchers in the organization reads like a Padres World Series banner.

Speaking of the Padres, they have a glut of catchers and should trade one to the Dodgers. Grandal and Hedges are likely going to be fairly costly, so Rene Rivera makes a lot of sense. That’s probably why I wrote about him before and after the trade deadline.

If you’re looking for a free agent, there’s this kid named Russell Martin that you may have heard of. However, he’s going to be 32 next year and, as we’ve seen with A.J., catchers generally don’t age like fine wine.

Bringing back Martin would lead to some nice opportunities to reminisce about the good old days when he and James Loney and Chad Billingsley and Jon Broxton were going to lead the Dodgers to multiple championships. Ah, good times.

But, with Ellis’ love and respect from his teammates, specifically Kershaw, he’s probably not going anywhere. Time to count the days until Julian Leon makes his major league debut.

Dodgers History: MLB Facts About Clayton Kershaw’s No-Hitter

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  1. One thing the numbers don’t show.. three no hitters this year in the mlb… aj has caught two of them

        1. No he didn’t. AJ’s claim to fame after this game was injuring his leg when he RAN OFF THE BENCH to step into THE WINNING CATCHER DREW BUTERA’s mask.

          Soooo if the guy who got it right is a retard what does that make you—a fool blowhard.

  2. I think the reason Ellis has become a flyball out is to avoid the much worse groundball DP.

    AJ’s D & O has got to be addressed by the GM (good luck there). He’ll be 34 first week of April, which means to Ned he’s must be coming into his prime.

    Butera is a much better backstop: He’s throwing out more more than twice the runners Ellis is, 32% to 15%. What does that mean for Ellis’ defense? He’s such a great pitch-caller he doesn’t know when to call a fastball on a steal count. His other problem tho is catching the ball, at which he should be tested for palsy. The Dodgers are going to not only be embarrassed next year if they start the year with Ellis as the #1, assuming they get thru postseason without Ellis giving up another PB loss, as he did in Kershaw’s (Ellis’) 1-0 loss to St Loo in the NLCS, they’re going to be scrambling for another catcher when Ellis’ D continues to deteriorate. Dodger fans have got to get over their hero-worship and count the balls he drops from the pitcher, and from the OF throws to home plate, as he did last week, wasting a perfect throw to the plate from Puig that was ahead of the runner but which Ellis COULD NOT CATCH AND HOLD.

    Whatever it takes, i am looking forward to Butera starting in postseason and not Mr Thumbs.

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