Los Angeles Dodgers Catcher A.J. Ellis will be out 4-6 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on a torn meniscus in his left knee.
#Dodgers catcher AJ Ellis is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee for a meniscus tear tomorrow morning in Los Angeles.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 8, 2014
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) April 8, 2014
Ellis injured his left knee while planting it on 3rd base as he was trying to score against the San Francisco Giants in the 7th inning on Saturday, a game which the Dodgers lost 7-2. Ellis sat out Sunday’s victory and now will be sitting out quite a bit longer. If the knee damage is limited to the meniscus, Ellis will likely be able to return to the Dodgers in four to six weeks, according to sources. If there is more extensive damage, Ellis could be out for far longer.
Ellis, the Dodgers primary Catcher, will join a Dodgers disabled list which includes the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Brian Wilson, Josh Beckett, and Chad Billingsley. The Dodgers are also concerned about the thumb injury to Yasiel Puig, though, as of right now, it looks like he will avoid the disabled list.
Losing Ellis is a huge blow to the Dodgers. Not only is he one of the best defensive catchers in baseball, he is one of the best in the business when it comes to calling a game and managing the pitching staff. Ellis is also a very capable and smart hitter when compared to other Catchers around the league. While the Dodgers are lucky this injury occurred early in the season, it’s not the best way to kick off a campaign which many believe will end with a Championship celebration ending at Chavez Ravine.
For now the Dodgers will turn to Tim Federowicz, who will be called up from Triple-A Albuquerque before Tuesday’s game against the Detroit Tigers. Federowicz, who is a .227 hitter, has caught 51 games in the MLB, 44 of which came last year in relief of Ellis. Drew Butera, who started Sunday’s game against the Giants, will continue to be the backup Catcher and will fill in for Federowicz on a regular basis. Butera is regarded as wonderful defensive Catcher, but is a career .180 hitter in the big leagues.
Any way you dice it, this is a huge blow to the Dodgers and is certainly the type of injury they were hoping to avoid.