A.J. Ellis “ahead of schedule” in recovery from knee surgery

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Expected to miss 4-6 weeks following April 8 knee surgery, Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis has resumed doing baseball activities and, according to Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times, “appears ahead of schedule.”

Ellis wasn’t able to run at full speed when he tried recently, so he’s not that far ahead of schedule, but a minor-league rehab assignment should be around the corner.

In Ellis’ absence the Dodgers have turned to Tim Fedorowicz as their primary catcher, with Drew Butera serving as his backup, but that duo is hitting a combined .134 on the season.

Phillies sign Trevor Plouffe to minor league deal

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Infielder Trevor Plouffe has signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Plouffe asked for and was granted his release from the Rangers earlier this month.

Plouffe, 31, had a double and a home run in 17 plate appearances with Triple-A Round Rock to start the 2018 season. He spent last year with the Athletics and Rays, putting up a meager .198/.272/.318 batting line in 100 games.

Plouffe has mostly played third base throughout his career, but can also handle the other three infield spots and both outfield corners, so he’ll serve as organizational depth at Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the Phillies.