Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Tag: A.J. Ellis (Page 1 of 8)

Dodgers trade Carlos Ruiz for reliever Vidal Nuño

Elsa/Getty Images

Elsa/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

Vidal Nuño, a 29-year-old left-handed reliever, has been acquired from Seattle by the Dodgers in exchange for catcher Carlos Ruiz.

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In case you missed it: Vinnys Vinnys everywhere

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Cubs at Dodgers, 1:05 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Josh Reddick, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
Andrew Toles, LF
Julio Urías , P

By Jon Weisman

As part of Team Photo Day on Friday, the Dodgers indulged in a fantasy — that everyone in the world could be as wonderful as Vin Scully.

Of course, there really can only be one Vin Scully, as a close examination of the above image will reveal. (Click to enlarge.)

Here are some other recent items of note …

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Why the Dodgers pursued Carlos Ruiz

(Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Andrew Friedman, on the decision to trade A.J. Ellis to Philadelphia in a deal for Carlos Ruiz (via Ken Gurnick of MLB.com):

“It was a tough decision on a personal level,” Friedman said. “From a baseball standpoint, we felt Carlos fit our team extremely well. I can go on and on about A.J. and his attributes and what he brings to a team, and if Carlos didn’t possess similar things, we wouldn’t have made the move. In terms of leadership ability, ability to call a game and run a pitching staff, Carlos rates extremely well in those things and has experience in what he brings to the lineup against left-handed pitching, which (we) focused on as an area we wanted to improve.”

Read the entire story here.

— Jon Weisman

A.J. Ellis talks about his farewell from Dodgers

Ellis 2

A.J. Ellis spoke to reporters shortly after receiving the news of being traded to Philadelphia. The audio can be played above.

— Jon Weisman

A.J. Ellis heads to Phillies in Carlos Ruiz trade

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Interview: A.J. Ellis speaks about his departure from the Dodgers.

By Jon Weisman

In an exchange of catchers that will mark the end of an era in Los Angeles, A.J. Ellis has been sent to the Phillies in a trade for Carlos Ruiz.

Ellis, minor-league pitcher Tommy Bergjans and a player to be named later or cash considerations will go to Philadelphia in exchange for Ruiz and cash considerations.

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Catcher steals make a rare return for Dodger offense

LOS ANGELES DODGERS V ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Diamondbacks at Dodgers, 6:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Howie Kendrick, LF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Andrew Toles, RF
Joc Pederson, CF
Scott Kazmir, P

By Jon Weisman

In the very first game after A.J. Ellis stole his first base in the Majors on Wednesday, Yasmani Grandal stole his first base as a Dodger on Friday.

Grandal, whose steal came in his 191st game as a Dodger, did have three thefts with the Padres in 2014. Nevertheless, to say this week’s sequence of events was unusual is an understatement.

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At age 35, A.J. Ellis steals first MLB base

Ellis SB

Previously on Dodger Insider: A.J. Ellis and the mythical stolen base

By Jon Weisman

Five weeks ago, A.J. Ellis acknowledged, not without some pride, that he knew he was of the all-time leaders in MLB history for most times on base without a steal in his career.

Today, history broke.

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Postscript: A.J. Ellis and the mythical stolen base

Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Diego Padres

By Jon Weisman

In today’s feature on A.J. Ellis, the Dodger catcher said he had no idea how high he ranked among the franchise leaders in games caught.

But there was one piece of history that Ellis was acutely aware of. That’s when I asked him if he remembered his last stolen base.

“That hasn’t happened in the Major Leagues, I know that,” Ellis said. “I think I’m top five without a stolen base for as many (times on base) as I’ve got.”

Most times on base with no steals, MLB history
1) 835 Russ Nixon (1957-68)
2) 818 Aaron Robinson (1943-51)
3) 801 Chris Snyder (2004-13)
4) 710 Johnny Estrada (2001-08)
5) 632 A.J. Ellis (2008-)
6) 620 Wilson Ramos (2010-)
7) 607 Ryan Garko (2005-10)
8) 541 Al Ferrara (1963-71)
9) 515 Jack Hiatt (1964-62)

He was exactly right. Ellis has reached base 632 times in his career, without a steal. In MLB history, only four steal-heeled players, led by Russ Nixon (835), have been on the bases more — though Wilson Ramos, the opposing catcher in the recently completed series against the Nationals, is coming up, well, fast behind Ellis.

Ellis has a firm grip on the Dodger franchise record, having sped past Al Ferrara.

How badly does Ellis want to get a steal before his career is over? Or does he even want one?

“It’s kind of getting to that point now where it’s a fun fact about me,” Ellis said, “but, no I do. I’m always looking. I want to get one off somebody that it would really tick off. Like I want to get one off (Madison) Bumgarner, I think. That would really tick him off, to see that I stole on him. But he’s tough.”

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As others gush about his future, A.J. Ellis stays in the present

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

You hear it all the time. It’s almost like his name isn’t his name anymore.

He’s not A.J. Ellis. Nope, not just.

He’s “A.J. Ellis, he can do anything he wants in the game after he retires.”

The entire baseball world is like a grandmother gushing about her son’s son, so proud and so eager to show him off: “You’ve got to come and see the A.J.”

For good reason. Smart, affable, funny: Ellis is a dream candidate for a post-playing position. Baseball has seen its share of player-managers, but Ellis walks onto the field before a game, dons a headset for an interview, and just like that, you’re wondering if there could ever be an announcer-manager.

The only thing is … Ellis isn’t there yet. Not nearly.

Even at age 35, his mind is still focused between the lines. He has never been one for looking too far beyond, and he’s not starting now.

“I try not to,” he said earlier this week, shortly after a workout in Dodger Stadium’s sudden summer heat. “If you’re too worried about the future, your anxiety will just destroy you as well. So I do my best really to just stay in the present, and try to get better every single day.”

In short, his ballplaying mortality will have to wait.

This isn’t a personality shift, a shield he has thrown up to hide from his birthdays. Ellis has been this way since before he turned pro — before he knew he’d even have the chance.

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Seventeen innings later, what’s new?

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Trayce Thompson, preparing for his eight consecutive start, works in the indoor cage before tonight’s game. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Reds at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Kershaw CCLII: Kershawnhattan
Kiké Hernandez, LF
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 3B
Trayce Thompson, CF
Corey Seager, SS
Yasiel Puig, RF
A.J. Ellis, C
Clayton Kershaw, P

By Jon Weisman

Here’s a quick update on some of the Dodger newsmakers over the past 24 hours …

Ross Stripling

Getting optioned to the minors after winning Sunday’s game didn’t shock Stripling, who told SportsNet LA’s Alanna Rizzo that it was always the plan that he would be optioned around this time — though certainly current circumstances made the decision more obvious.

Stripling added that the plan is for him to throw three innings when he starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City, according to Andy McCullough of the Times.

Dave Roberts said that Stripling could be used in the rotation or out of the bullpen when he returns to Los Angeles.

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The Dodgers won. They won.

Yasiel Puig points back to the dugout after hitting a tiebreaking two-run single in the 17th inning. (Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

Yasiel Puig points back to the dugout after hitting a tiebreaking two-run single in the 17th inning. (Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers won.

They won, 9-5, over San Diego, in 17 innings, despite the albatross of a bad week and a rough season hanging over themThey won, despite the specter of a third consecutive walkoff loss howling all around them.

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Video: ‘Mid-Afternoon with Clayton Kershaw’

[mlbvideo id=”652842883″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

Earlier this week, Clayton Kershaw had some fun with Chris Rose and Kevin Millar on MLB Network’s “Intentional Talk,” talking about his greatest Little League memory, his eephus pitch and most of all, the glorious physicality of A.J. Ellis. If you missed it, enjoy …

— Jon Weisman

Support Cindy Ellis in run for pediatric cancer research

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

One week from today, A.J. Ellis’ wife Cindy will run in the Boston Marathon to raise money for research into the fight against pediatric cancer. The Ellis family will match all donations up to $26,200.

RhyanThey have made the effort in honor of their family friend Rhyan Loos, who has stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare form of pediatric cancer, but their hope is to make an impact far beyond one person.

… We are desperate for a cure and have come to find how important yet underfunded Pediatric Cancer research actually is.

Each year in the United States approximately 15,780 children between the ages of birth and 19 years of age are diagnosed with cancer.

In the U.S., more children die of childhood cancer than any other disease —yet all types of childhood cancers combined receive only 4% of the U.S. federal cancer research funding – of over $5 billion. …

Learn more and offer your support at the Ellis family site, teamellisfamily.com. You can also donate directly here.

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In case you missed it: Dodgers avoid singles scene

By Jon Weisman

For seven innings today, the Dodgers were on their way to an unprecedented feat.

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In case you missed it: Sandy salute

Los Angeles Dodgers workout

By Jon Weisman

Though the legendary Sandy Koufax no longer has a formal role with the Dodgers, as Ken Gurnick of MLB.com writes, that doesn’t mean he can’t stop by Camelback Ranch for a nice hello.

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