LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers recalled catcher Tim Federowicz from Triple-A Albuquerque before their Tuesday night game against the Tigers to take the roster spot of A.J. Ellis, who had surgery Tuesday morning to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
"I'm excited to be back," Federowicz said. "It sucks for A.J. right now, and it's never the reason you want to be called up, but I'm excited to try to help the team win."
Ellis was placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to Sunday, though the catcher is expected to miss four to six weeks. Manager Don Mattingly said Ellis felt something in his knee running the bases in the seventh inning on Saturday.
"He had a misstep the other day, and felt it right then. He was sore after that," Mattingly said. "That was probably the last straw."
Federowicz, who started 10 of 14 games when Ellis was on the disabled list in 2013 with an oblique strain, starts Tuesday night at catcher, batting eighth. Yasiel Puig, who jammed his thumb on Saturday, is not starting.
Federowicz made the trip to Australia with the Dodgers but was optioned to Triple-A as the team set its 28-man Opening Day roster. Federowicz has started just one of five games for the Isotopes, including sitting each of the last three games including Tuesday in favor of Miguel Olivo.
Federowicz, who was 0-for-2 with a walk in his one game in Triple-A, is the only other catcher aside from Ellis and Drew Butera on the 40-man roster. He flew to Los Angeles on Monday, and said he's prepared to be the primary catcher.
"I've been ready for this for a while. I'm excited for the opportunity," Federowicz said. "I'm expecting to be the primary catcher. It's up to them, but I'm going to treat it like I am and go about my business that way."
The 26-year-old hit .231/.275/.356 with four home runs in 56 games for the Dodgers in 2013, and started 42 games behind the plate. Mattingly stopped short of declaring Federowicz the primary backstop.
"He's starting tonight," Mattingly said. "We'll see."