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.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets starter Steven Matz has been pitching through pain for most of the season. He may need surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. Matz was sidelined in spring training with an elbow injury and made his regular season debut on June 10.
Matz, 26, has struggled over 13 starts, posting a 6.08 ERA with a 48/19 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings. Many were scrambling for explanations for his pitching woes and now they have it.
According to Carig, the Mets let Matz skip his bullpen sessions to help him pitch through the pain. Given the Mets’ shoddy history of dealing with injuries, that’s not a good look for the club.
Carig noted on Twitter that Jacob deGrom offers some optimism for Matz’s case. deGrom underwent right elbow surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage last September and bounced back to have a great season this year.
Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Monday. That simulated game went so well, he threw an extra inning, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start next and could be activated towards the end of next week.
Kershaw, 29, has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a lower back strain. That put the pause button on another outstanding season. He’s carrying a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.
The 87-35 Dodgers have run away with the NL West, needing some combination of 20 wins and 20 Rockies losses (19 for the third-place Diamondbacks) to officially clinch the division. While the Dodgers are all but mathematically assured of reaching postseason baseball, the club would still like to get Kershaw as ready as possible over the next month-plus.