Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on February 8 at Camelback Ranch and Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis is getting ready for the beginning of the season.
The 32-year-old catcher finished his second full season behind the plate for the Dodgers in 2013 and was apart of the goodwill tour that went to Australia this winter. Talking to Jon Weisman of Dodger Insider, Ellis said the start of the NFL playoffs is a time when he starts ramping up his workouts:
Once these playoffs start happening in the NFL, it’s time to start cranking up, the Green Bay Packers fan said. My mind is turning to baseball. I’m amping up my workouts. Especially when I’m here in Milwaukee and it’s negative 15 degrees out — I’m not exaggerating, either. Checking that Phoenix weather, February 7 can’t get hear soon enough.
Last year, Ellis hit .238 with 10 home runs and 52 RBI in 115 games as he dealt with an oblique injury. While he usually isn’t counted on for his offense, the defensively minded catcher threw out 44% of base runners.
As of now, Ellis is arbitration eligible as the Dodgers and his representative will likely meet about a contract next month. Regarded as one of the great guys in the clubhouse, Ellis talked about the Dodgers 2014 off-season and one move came to mind:
I think what kind of helped us (in 2013), especially down the stretch and going into the playoffs, was the acquisition of Brian Wilson, Ellis said. Having him come back for another year, solidify the back end of our bullpen — it’s such a strength now.
It’s clear that like most Dodgers, Ellis had a tough time getting over the Game 6 loss in the NLCS with close friend Clayton Kershaw on the mound, but it sounds like he’s getting ready for an exciting 2014 season.
ICYMI: The Dodgers and Don Mattingly agreed to a three-year deal