Mark Ellis often went unnoticed, like the best of waiters, but after 2013 it seems the Dodgers will find out what life is like without him.
What went right
Ellis had a very similar Mark Ellis season, hitting .270/.323/.351 with six home runs and solid defense, and was a finalist for the National League Gold Glove at second base. Depending on the source, Ellis was worth either 1.8 (FanGraphs) or 3.0 (Baseball-Reference) wins above replacement in the final season of a two-year contract.
Ellis even played a game at third base, shifting to the position for two outs in the ninth inning on April 15, his first time at the hot corner in 11 years. But after the game Ellis provided one of my favorite quotes of 2013, "That caught me off guard a little but, but I totally understand. I knew if we needed to do it, it wouldn't be for very long. Besides, I'm a baseball player."
He had a season-high four hits on April 23, including two home runs, the first of seven multi-home-run games for the Dodgers in the 2013 regular season.
Ellis hit .282/.331/.412 against left-handed pitching, and hit .302/.354/.457 against southpaws in his two years as a Dodger.
What went wrong
Ellis missed 19 games with a right quad strain in April and May, his sixth straight season with a disabled list stint. But that was to be expected, as his 126 games played and 106 starts in the field are right in line with his averages of 119 games and 109 starts for the last six seasons.
He hit just .265/.319/.325 against right-handed pitchers, which made it a tad annoying when manager Don Mattingly kept Ellis in the second spot in the batting order. Ellis batted second 45 times in 2013, which is a lot less than it seemed, though perhaps the point was driven home by Ellis batting second in all 10 playoff games.
Ellis had a $5.75 million club option for 2014, but the Dodgers on Thursday declined it and instead paid Ellis a $1 million buyout. Ellis, 36, is now a free agent.