Dodgers' Don Mattingly on catching situation: 'That'll work itself out'

Dodgers' Don Mattingly on catching situation: 'That'll work itself out'
Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis questions an interference call by umpire Jim Reynolds during the fourth inning of a game against the San Diego Padres on April 2, 2014. (Lenny Ignelzi / Associated Press)

So in addition to (still) too many outfielders, the Dodgers now also have too many catchers.

Those Geek Squad boys can sure do some funny math.


When the Dodgers surprisingly traded Matt Kemp to the Padres, the big get-back was supposedly catcher Yasmani Grandal. He of the .225 batting average.

They added him to split time in some undetermined fashion with returning starting catcher A.J. Ellis, who is coming off a terrible, injury-riddled season, and whom they just re-signed for $4.25 million.

Grandal certainly has the more powerful bat and is seven years younger, but Ellis is well respected within the clubhouse and particularly by the pitching staff. Manager Don Mattingly said he really hasn’t given much thought as to how he’ll split time with the two.

"Not a whole lot," Mattingly said. "Just knowing that Yasmani was a guy that at the end of the year, we didn't really like being up there with men in scoring position. He's got a big upside offensively we think, and really comfortable with him behind the plate.

"What makes that easier for me is dealing with A.J. Talking to A.J. [Tuesday], knowing that could be a little bit of a sticky situation, his first response was, 'I just want to win.' That'll work itself out."

That sounds exactly like something Ellis would say, which is why even though most expect Grandal to get the bulk of the starting time, Ellis won't morph into some seldom-used backup.

Ellis is particularly close to three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, both professionally and personally, and is also a favorite of right-hander Zach Greinke. Mattingly, however, said Grandal would still catch both aces.

"Sure, obviously," he said.

Don't look for any special catchers for Kershaw or anyone else.

"I'm not really comfortable any time we talk about just one guy catching that certain pitcher every time because that it really gets you caught in the middle," Mattingly said. "I can't say that I really favor that. The catching situation, we'll work it out."