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Dodgers option Austin Barnes to Triple-A to make room for A.J. Ellis

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Tuesday optioned catcher Austin Barnes back to Triple-A Oklahoma City, making room for the return of A.J. Ellis from the disabled list.

Barnes has hit .267/.389/.333, 4-for-15 in two big league stints this season in nine games, including five starts at catcher. He was 3-for-10 with a double and a walk in four games during this sting with the Dodgers, and started three of 12 games behind the plate.

"I think he's going to be a good hitter. He's a good hitter already. He's seeing the ball well. He puts the ball in play a lot. His mechanics are solid," manager Don Mattingly said on Sunday. "His catching is surprisingly really good, and he's a guy who can also play some infield. We like pretty much everything about him."

This season in Triple-A, Barnes has hit .304/.385/.484 with eight home runs and 13 doubles in 62 games, with more walks (28) than strikeouts (26).

Though he played 150 minor league games at second base and 15 more at third base in the Marlins system, Barnes this season has exclusively caught in Oklahoma City, except for two starts at designated hitter.