A.J. Ellis continues to take advantage of his first chance at regular playing time in the big leagues.
Ellis went 1-for-4 with two RBI and a walk-off walk in a 6-5 win over the Cardinals last night as the Dodgers improved to a major-league best 26-13 on the year.
Of course, walks are nothing new for Ellis. The 31-year-old backstop is hitting .327/.459/.490 with a 22/23 K/BB ratio across 124 plate appearances this season. He’s second to David Wright (.510) in on-base percentage and only Joey Votto has walked more often this season. He leads the majors in pitches per plate appearance.
Who knows whether Ellis can keep up his unlikely hot start. His .397 batting average on balls in play hints that some regression is likely on the way, but he did have a .280 batting average and a .406 on-base percentage over nine seasons in the minors before he got his first real shot at being an everyday catcher. Seems he has a knack for this whole patience thing.
Your Friday box scores:
White Sox 3, Cubs 2
Reds 0, Yankees 4
Marlins 3, Indians 2
Pirates 0, Tigers 6
Orioles 2, Nationals 1
Red Sox 4, Phillies 6
Mets 5, Blue Jays 14
Braves 5, Rays 3
Rangers 4, Astros 1
Twins 11, Brewers 3
Diamondbacks 6, Royals 4
Mariners 4, Rockies 0
Athletics 6, Giants 8
Angels 7, Padres 2
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.