Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis has recovered at an accelerated rate since having surgery to repair his meniscus. The day after Ellis’ knee was operated on, the 33-year-old was back at Dodger Stadium, sitting in on meetings. More impressively, 10 days after the surgery, Ellis said he was able to complete all baseball activities outside of running.
According to Steve Dillbeck of the Los Angeles Times, Ellis attempted to add running to his workout this past weekend, to which his knee didn’t respond favorably:
There’s still a little bit of irritation there running only.”
Despite the minor setback, Ellis reiterated he’s able to do other activities and hopes his knee will improve with treatment:
Baseball stuff feels great — hitting, throwing, catching. Keep getting treatment and hopefully get this irritation, inflammation cleaned out.”
With Ellis out of the lineup, the catcher’s position has been a source of futility for the Dodgers. Drew Butera and Tim Federowicz have generally struggled. By no means could Ellis have been referred to as productive with the bat, hitting just .167 through seven games with four hitless games. However, Ellis brings plenty of intangibles to the pitching staff.
As poorly as Ellis was hitting, in 13 starts, Federowicz is batting .109 with five hits and 11 strikeouts. Along with struggling at the plate, Federowicz has also been called for multiple catchers’ inference and thrown out 6-of-19 base stealers. Since Ellis was placed on the disabled list, Butera has started six games, informally serving as Zack Greinke’s personal catcher. Butera hasn’t been as much of a liability defensively, but he too has struggled with the bat. The 30-year-old has a .190 average with four hits and nine strikeouts.
Similar to the situation with Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers clearly could benefit from Ellis’ return, but must avoid rushing him back, which could lead to an increase in the chance of re-injury.
Dodgers News: A.J. Ellis Out, Knee Surgery, Clayton Kershaw Improving