A look back at the Dodgers’ portion of the 2016 season for catcher A.J. Ellis, which ended abruptly and sooner than just about anyone thought.
What went right
Ellis reached base in eight out of 10 starts from Apr. 23 to May 10, hitting .294/.351/.441 during that span.
In 2016, Ellis moved into 6th place in Los Angeles Dodgers history with 526 games as a catcher, surpassing Joe Ferguson and Paul LoDuca this year.
Ellis had a .341 on-base percentage in May, with seven walks and two strikeouts in 41 plate appearances.
He was 2-for-6 (.333) with two RBI and a walk as a pinch-hitter in 2016.
What went wrong
After that hot streak mentioned above, from May 11 from when he was traded in August, Ellis was just 13-for-79, hitting .165/.264/.190.
On the season for the Dodgers Ellis hit just .194/.285/.252.
Ellis saw most of his starts (22 of 42) against left-handed pitchers, but hit just .241/.323/.293 against southpaws.
On Aug. 25, just a week before active roster limits expanded, the Dodgers acquired backup catching help in Carlos Ruiz from the Phillies. That they were looking to acquire an upgrade at the position was not surprising, but that Ellis went the other way — along with pitcher Tommy Bergjans — in the trade was shocking, given his standing in the clubhouse.
Ellis, who was drafted by the Dodgers in 2003, was the longest-tenured player in the organization at the time of the trade.
The Dodgers later sent minor league outfielder Joey Curletta to the Phillies as the player to be named later to complete the trade.
Stats: .194/.285/.252 in 53 games, 161 PA; -0.2 rWAR, -0.3 fWAR with Dodgers
Salary: $4.5 million, of which the Dodgers paid roughly $3.57 million.
Game of the year
Ellis hit a two-run home run against Tyler Chatwood on April 23 at Coors Field, part of a 2-for-4 game in a 4-1 win over the Rockies. It was the only home run of the season for Ellis with the Dodgers, though he hit one in September with the Phillies.
Ellis finished out the season in Philadelphia and is now a free agent.