Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis returned from a knee injury 10 days ago, but now he’s headed back to the disabled list after injuring his ankle while celebrating Josh Beckett’s no-hitter last night.
Ellis wasn’t even behind the plate for Beckett’s gem. That job went to Drew Butera, who caught his second no-hitter, but Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles reports that Ellis sprained his right ankle when he landed on Butera’s discarded catcher’s mask during the celebration.
Tim Federowicz has been called up from Triple-A to replace Ellis on the roster and he’ll split time with Butera. Ellis hasn’t hit much since last season, batting .231 with a .669 OPS in 130 games, but that makes him look like Mike Piazza offensively compared to Butera’s career .185 batting average and .508 OPS.
Oh, and there’s this: Miguel Olivo was playing catcher for the Dodgers at Triple-A and hitting .368 there, so if he hadn’t gone and bitten off teammate Alex Guerrero’s ear there’s a strong chance he’d be the Dodgers’ starting catcher right now.
Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.
Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list
Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.
Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).
While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.