Brewers medical staff helped Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis recover from knee surgery

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A.J. Ellis has had a very busy offseason, as the Dodgers catcher underwent knee surgery in October and then witnessed his wife give birth to their third child in the car as he drove to the hospital.

His wife and daughter are doing well and so is Ellis, who told Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times that he’s fully recovered from surgery and will be ready to go for spring training.

“I’m doing all my regular baseball activities,” Ellis said. “It looks like a normal January for me.”

Dilbeck notes that Ellis lives in Wisconsin during the offseason and did his rehab work with the Brewers’ medical staff after the Dodgers “arranged the medical cooperation.”

Ellis is one of the few things about the Dodgers that hasn’t gotten headlines during the past year, but after spending a decade in the minors he got his first extended opportunity at age 31 and took advantage in a big way by hitting .270 with 13 homers and a team-leading .373 on-base percentage in 133 games.

Nathan Eovaldi to make 2018 debut for Rays soon

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Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.

Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.

When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.

The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.