Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis did something Saturday that he hadn’t pulled off in almost a month — he had two hits in one game.
Ellis has been struggling at the plate for awhile, bringing back memories of last season when he admittedly wore down in the stretch during his first full season in the major leagues. He hit .218 last September.
He still finished the season batting .270 with a .373 on-base percentage and a surprising 13 home runs. So far this season, he is batting .244 with a .329 on-base percentage and seven home runs.
His numbers are going the wrong way and his struggles started earlier than this month. Since Aug. 9 he’s hit .161 (10 for 59) with one homer and seven runs batted in.
The Dodgers have tried to give him more rest this season, but he hasn’t been pressured much by backup Tim Federowicz (.241), though he has hit a light .333 (13 for 39, two RBI) in his last 13 games.
Of course, after last season ended Ellis had surgery for a knee injury he and the Dodgers had kept from the public, so there’s no telling if something is currently bothering him. He did take a foul ball off the same knee last month.
But with the Dodgers now having all but locked up their division they can afford to use him more cautiously, keeping him as fresh as possible and ready for the postseason.
And hoping his Saturday performance was a sign of things to come.