GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Two of the most popular teammates in recent Dodgers history have retired this week, with second baseman Mark Ellis and outfielder Juan Pierre hanging up their spikes.
Ellis, 37, played for the Dodgers in 2012 and 2013, hitting a combined .264/.328/.357, a 92 OPS+, while providing stellar defense at second base. He played nine of his 12 major league seasons with the A's.
"I took a lot of pride in my defense," Ellis told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday. "That’s what kept me in the big leagues. All those great pitching staffs I played behind, I tried to do anything I could to help them win."
One of my favorite quotes while covering the Dodgers came from Ellis, who in April 2013 played third base for a pair of batters in the ninth inning of a game, his first time at the position in 11 years. He said he was surprised by the move but quickly adjusted.
"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," Ellis said. "Besides, I'm a baseball player."
On Friday, Pierre announced his retirement, having last played for the Marlins in 2013.
Thanks for all the tweets keep them coming it's true today I'm officially retiring today.Blessed and grateful to have played the game I love— Juan Pierre (@JPBeastMode) February 27, 2015
Signed to an ill-fated five-year, $44 million contract by the Dodgers before the 2007 season, Pierre transitioned from an everyday everyday player to more of a supporting role by his second year in Los Angeles.
Pierre's best season with the Dodgers came in 2009, when he hit .308/.365/.392, a 105 OPS+, with 40 steals, including starting all 50 games in left field during the Manny Ramirez PED suspension, hitting a robust .318/.381/.411 during that span.
In his 14-year career Pierre hit .295/.343/.361 with 2,217 hits and is 18th all-time with 614 stolen bases. His 64 steals in 2007 is tied with Dee Gordon (2014) for the most by a Dodger in the last 39 seasons.
In current, or perhaps more appropriately future Dodgers news, Corey Seager will play exclusively at shortstop during spring training, manager Don Mattingly emphatically said on Thursday.