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.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.